Thursday , July 18 2024
Home / Dartmoor Explorations / Visitors’ Book

Visitors’ Book

Visitors' Book
Welcome to Legendary Dartmoor, the largest non-commercial Dartmoor website where you will find every aspect of Devon’s jewel the Dartmoor National Park. Legendary Dartmoor includes information on the traditions, history, flora and fauna, legends, the supernatural, the Dartmoor arts, people past and present, places and folklore. I hope you will enjoy your visit to Legendary Dartmoor and come back again.

Go To New Visitors’ Book

March 16th 2016

Hello there,
I wonder if you can help me please. It’s a bit of a long shot but I’m trying to find the name of a place I stayed at on Dartmoor for a training week in 1992. I’ve searched online and looked at all the bunkhouses and training centres but I can’t find anything that matches my photos or memories of the place. I’m pretty sure it was near to Princetown, as we went to the Plume of Feathers on two of the evenings to play bowls, but it was in the countryside and not the town. I’ve added the appropriate photos below, including one of some boulders in the grounds and one of the bridge over a river that could be seen from the grounds. I know it’s not much to go on but I thought I’d ask, as I’m writing an article about it for my website (the link’s in my signature if you want to check it out) and would like to give it a name if possible.
Thank you very much for any help you can give me.
Kind Regards, Eileen.

Hi Tim,
Thank you very much for your reply and the info about Dartmoor Training Centre. I was amazed I didn’t find that in my search, but then again I only keyed in hostels and bunkhouses; it didn’t occur to me to try training centres, so I expect that’s why I didn’t come across it.
I’m really chuffed to have a name for it now. Thanks once again.

March 16th 2016

Good afternoon
I found your website very interesting but wonder if you can throw any light on the origins of the name Leeden Tor.
My late father, Basil Charles Leeden, (former British Army Officer in Burma, born 1919) would have been fascinated by the internet but unfortunately, it was after his time.
However, as children in the late 1950’s and during the 1960’s, we four girls frequently holidayed in Devon – the A30/303 all the way from Hertfordshire, (we started at 01.00!) wrapped in eiderdowns and pillows in the back seat of the Ford Consul registration 802 AAR. The journey took 8 hours and we stopped regularly outside the same five places beginning with S – Slough, Stockbridge, Salisbury, Shaftesbury and Sherbourne – on our way to Beer, but occasionally detouring to Stonehenge on the return. The journey was one of open air (primus stove) 4am breakfast, and home baked picnics, with the occasional treat of calling in for a Little Chef maple syrup pancake!
During our week’s stay, we were always taken for a day to Leeden Tor – OUR tor, and were regaled with the story of which we never tired the telling.
A forebear, incarcerated in Princetown prison, escaped and ended his days gruesomely by committing suicide on Dartmoor Tor, which was named after him. To we girls – family of the upstanding and respected LEEDEN family in Broxbourne, this was SSOOO exciting. A notorious, albeit dead, ancestor – a prisoner!!! (This was the era of “Whistle Down the Wind!!”)
So, reluctantly, I ask if you have to dispel the myth so that I may enlighten my grandchildren with the real story? Thank you.
Kind regards Lyndsey Leeden

March 6th 2016

Dear Mr. Sandles,
Having grown up in England I have always been fascinated with Dartmoor. Congratulations on such a wealth of information. I value websites for their information, especially accurate information.
I know London is a long way off, perhaps for some it’s on another planet. However, St. Pancras station and the general area of London, is no longer ‘grubby’. It has been the subject of a magnificent restoration. I think you owe your readers the courtesy of updating this 19/11/2007 webpage.
Sincerely and with respect,

March 6th 2016

Hi Tim,
I was hoping you might let me link to your site, and quote an extract from your page on the commons. I have just started a blog about radical relationships to the land – just my own folly and I don’t know if it will be any good – but it would be really nice to be able to mention some of the facts you have written about Dartmoor. What a great site.
Thanks, Naomi

February 26th 2016

Hi Tim!
My name is Milly
As well as being the course leader for Fashion Media and Marketing at Plymouth College of Art , I am presently studying for my MA and looking at the how we use the classic image of the ‘ghost’ as a visual metaphor.
I was wondering if I could interview at some point during May or June to discus the amazing levels of work and research that you undertake for Legendary Dartmoor?
I also have to mention that I am a long-time fan of your website too, and a regular visitor! Be great to meet up.Let me know how your fixed…
Best Regards – Milly

February 2nd 2016

Hi Tim.
I’ve come across your website a few times whilst looking things up, and today I was delighted – when doing a little research on snuff boxes made in silver from Wheal Betsy mine – to come across the great information about Wheal Betsy and indeed a snuff box in New Zealand.
I am a Trustee of the Mary Tavy Jubilee Group, a community and heritage charity for the village of Mary Tavy. We were recently contacted by someone who has acquired a Wheal Betsy snuff box and wanted to know if we had any information about them. I’ve now found three references including yours (with reference to a snuff box in New Zealand and one that was in Plymouth Museum), a recent auction (which might be where the person acquired the snuff box) and a recent mention in an Enterprise Fund document.

Your information and photograph of the snuff box in New Zealand dates from ten years ago, but if you have any further information, or would be able to pass on the contact details, we would love to have it to help form our collection.
We have got quite a good heritage collection and we’re just starting to put everything together, with the aim of making all our information freely available on the web and possibly forming a small museum in the future. So if you have any information at all relating to Mary Tavy that you would be able to copy to us we would be very grateful.
Just to give you some background information on the Jubilee Group I’m attaching our most recent Newsletter.
Many thanks, Ali

January 31st 2016

Hi Tim
Thanks for linking to us re. Dartmoor Cream Tea Challenge, and nice website.
Thanks, Sam

January 23rd 2016

Hi Tim
I like your site, it’s very good and informative, however you misunderstand the reason for having Spanions under the bridges ( gates) These are there to stop the stock from crossing from one common or new take onto another as at lower Cherrybrook Bridge and at Two Bridges… If they were placed on the upstream side, any debris washing down the river would destroy them pretty easily, as it is they just lift out of the way when anything large is washed downstream. I hope this helps as your site is obviously trying to be as accurate as possible.
Regards , Simon Butcher

January 17th 2016
Hello again, May I ask if there is any detail on the Pound at Spitchwick? I have looked it up but there is a lack of detail on it- one piece of info however says it is Iron Age! Also, apparently, Leigh Tor, just up the hill is noted as a Causewayed Enclosure- could there be a link?
Regards, Jowa

January 3rd 2016

Hi Tim
We were intrigued with your latest article about the batch loaf after referring to our library of Dartmoor books we came up with nothing so on to Google where we spotted what could be described as a ringed circle of rocks on Rowden Down grid reference SX6991 7588 which is approx. 1.25 miles north of Ponsworthy and on a hill whether this is what your looking for we don’t know and the wife says a 600 mile trip is out of the question so it will have to wait until our holiday in march just thought you might like to look at it on Google yourself. it’s only a long shot and the only map that shows rocks at this location is Jeremy Butler’s map 19 vol. one he also mentions a small summit tor.
Regards Maureen & Robin

December 30th 2015

Never knew this site existed, until today Born in Devon, travelled across Dartmoor many times in the back of my parents car. Left aged 14. Used to trek across the moor in my army days ,way back in the 60’s) Returned to Devon 4 years ago. Walked from Ivybridge to South Zeal and back (70 miles min) Feb. this year, all weathers. As your main page says ,’Old Dartymoor’ takes a hold on you. Walked via The Warren House, Cave -Penny cross, Stone Row and up to top of Cosdon hill (1640 ft). Ground so wet I ‘skipped’ across virtual bogs! When time allows will study the detail you have provided, have sent small donation as a thanks .
Best wishes Chris Green.
Many thanks Chris.

December 6th 2015

My name is Brian and I have been a volunteer with South West Lakes Trust at Burrator since 2003. In July 2014, Neil Reeves, the SWLT Countryside Manager for Devon accepted my offer to carry out an on-going restoration and maintenance programme at Wembley Walk. I should imagine your web page on Wembley Walk is based on a visit to the site before I took the project on, so I’m getting in touch to see if you would like to re-visit it in the new year to see how things are progressing. March is a good time when the wild daffodils are in flower. Also, I hope to be doing a presentation in the spring at Burrator Discovery Centre combining a site visit and talk on Wembley Walk, so you might be interested in killing two birds with one stone! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if any of the above is of interest to you.
Regards, Brian.

Thanks for your email and kind offer of a visit to Wembley Walk, I would be delighted to come down next Spring to see your restoration work and also update the webpage on the new developments.

November 26th 2015

Hi Tim,
Thank you so much for all of your information! Our presentation was a success! As I was focusing more on the landscape and the Victorians fear of degeneration, I was able to do some analysis of the Hound and your information was very helpful to do that! I also showed one of the images you sent me to the class, on the PowerPoint and explained a bit about your site!
Thanks again! Tara

November 22nd 2015

Hello Tim,
I am a fourth year University student attending the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, BC Canada. I am currently taking a Victorian Literature class that focuses on Gothic elements. I have a group presentation happening in a few days, and we are presenting on Doyle’s novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. My topic in the presentation, specifically, is focusing on the settings of London and the Grimpen Mire as Gothic.?
I was doing some research on the inspiration for the book and it’s setting, and it led me to your website. I was just wondering if there is anyway I could use what you say (I would cite, of course) in my presentation, and what your sources have been?
I have found further evidence that leads me to thinking that the legend of the “black shuck” was inspiration for the hound, but I cannot find anything scholarly on it. Is there a correlation between the two? Do you know of any folk books or sources I could use to find information?
If you have any time at all, to look into these things or get back to me, it would be much appreciated! But, if you don’t, no worries!
Thanks for your time! Tara

October 31st 2015

I am very interested in your latest book “Blissful, Restless Dartmoor” and would like to know where I can purchase a copy. Also I would be very interested to know if you have published any other books on Dartmoor.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Madge West
I have not published ‘Blissful, Restless Dartmoor’ I simply reviewed the book. You can purchase the book which is published by Barramoor Books, to order a copy call 01647 221303

October 29th 2015

I read your article with great interest and it would seem that I need to go to the Holy Trinity Church as soon as I can. Through my search of my family tree I have found that I’m related to Rev. William Ponsford and I would most grateful if you could please send me copies of any pictures that you might that show anything to do with Rev. William Ponsford.
Any help would be most welcome, as I seem to have come to a bit of a stop with my family tree!
Kind Regards , Barry Ponsford

October 28th 2015

Love your website….
I know this is a bit cheeky but I’m doing some research into old mines in the area. Do you have a higher resolution of the Virtuous lady mine Post card you have on your website? If you do, would it be possible for you to put it on the website so I could get a good look.
Kind regards, Nick Schemanoff

October 28th 2015
I am an American who is the son of an adopted father. I have recently discovered who his biological father was- a Bynorthemore whose lineage traces back to Moretonhampstead. Your site is helping me to shift gears from being a lifelong Italian and learning more about my Dartmoor roots.
Great job and keep up the great work!
Rosario Bynorthemore “Naramore”
October 28th 2015
Hello Legendary Dartmoor,
I am a young lad aged 16, who lives in Bovey Tracey and am extremely interested in Archaeology (currently paving the way for myself to be able to do Archaeology at university!)- I was partly inspired by Indiana Jones, but more recently inspired (more realistically!) by my Classics teacher, and also Time Team, which I spend most of my free time watching reruns of! As I live near Dartmoor, I am extremely interested in it’s history and archaeology, especially the bronze/iron/stone age, basically all aspects of the prehistoric Dartmoor, and especially what it would have looked like back then! However, there is a strange lack of it around Bovey, the closest is possibly Castle Dyke up in Chudleigh, or the cairns up at Black Hill- not sure what settlements these are connected to! But, any kind of history that is nearby, and not modern, still interests me, and I just am wondering, a few things, number one, was there any connection with prehistory to Bovey Tracey, or the nearby area, and number two, is there any connection with Parke House (was it a manor house, Norman? Did it have a specific purpose or anything special during the civil war? Prehistoric settlements on site?), and during the Civil War, what exactly happened in Bovey? (Locals at the heritage centre tell me that during the civil war there were some skirmishes nearby, in the woods around Bovey, so it seems maybe Bovey Heath was not the only site of battle!) If you can provide some answers, possibly even on your website, it would be absolutely amazing, to know some more about Bovey Tracey’s history, it seems somewhat vague!
Regards, Jowan Albon.

October 10th 2015

Dear Tim,
I have just found your work on Crossing. I write about the lack of memorials to him in my blog post. Please feel free to add your comment and a link across to your valuable page of resources and writing – HERE
Kindest regards, Charlie

October 10th 2015

My name is Steve Johnstone and I am a dance artist starting a new project which looks at local folklore stories and uses them as inspiration to create a new narrative told through dance, theatre and live music.

I am using the Kitty Jay story as one of three folklore from the counties in South West. Just been reading your information on the website you have and loved it.
This email is to thank you and if you are ever in Dorset next week or Exeter the week of 26th Oct then please let me know and id love to buy you a coffee and maybe we chat more?
I look forward to hearing back and hopefully talking in more depth about your knowledge.
Many thanks Steve J

October 4th 2015

Hi Tim,
I was reading your Riddon Ridge page, having had a similar gorse filled experience to yours on trying to find the cross/coffin stone I found it at the second attempt using the 040° bearing instructions from Dartmoor Crosses website. It is actually NE of the hut circle (about 50m), at SX 66638 76666, 363m for info.
Fabulous website by the way, it’s definitely my main source of reference and inspiration. I have no idea how you find the time to devote to it.
Thanks , Dave Hamnett

October 1st 2015

Hi Tim,
I love your website about Dartmoor. I take a lot of photos of Dartmoor, and was wondering whether you would be willing to link to my photography website on your page? My website is HERE
Kind Regards, Dave.
Link added.

September 15th 2015

Dear Mr. Sandles,
I just wanted to congratulate you on your excellent and very charming website. I chanced upon it while searching for the L.A. Strong poem about seeing the holy ghost (“gert solemn visions such as they be overstrong for mortal clay”) and stayed to look around, pleased by the images and organization. A lot of work on those pages–a real work of art!
Best wishes, Hope Hare.

September 19th 2015

Hi I’m sorry to trouble you, my name is Bill Sumner and I walk with the Newton Abbot Ramblers. I also make videos of the walks and incorporate some of the history and myths of the moor. I am currently making a film of the southern moor and would very much like to use the photos in some of your articles. I would of course give recognition in the credits and forward a copy of the video to you. I would also be glad of any information you would consider helpful.
The footage for the video is shot in 4k down rated to high definition video.
Best Regards, Bill Sumner

September 5th 2015

Dear Tim,
I have been a frequent visitor to your vast website – Legendary Dartmoor. It has led me to discover parts of Dartmoor that were new to me – and there is still so much to learn and discover! Legendary Dartmoor is such a wondrous website – thank you so much for all your amazing work and research. I have my own small Dartmoor website – photos and musings at would you be so kind to add a link – you may even enjoy a peek!
Kindest regards – Melanie.
As requested, link posted on the Legendary Dartmoor links page.

August 24th 2015

Dear Mr Sandles,
I am a historian at the University of Liverpool. In the course of my current research project, I have become interested in the Parrs, who lived in Widecombe in the Moor in the early twentieth century. Reading your very interesting web page on Beatrice Chase at I notice that you refer to the small chapel that the Parrs built at Venton and to a memorial stone for a former prisoner who had been interred there. Do you know the former prisoner’s name? I am interested in a former convict named John D’Arcy, who was released in January 1909 following Mrs Katharine Parr’s representations to the Home Office on his behalf. I know that John lived for a time in Widecombe following his release and I am wondering if he died there.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email. If you are able to help me with my query, I will be extremely grateful.
With all best wishes, Andrew (Davies)
Dr A. Davies Reader in History.

August 13th 2015

Hi Tim,
Just read your page on TEMPLE and agree an amazing place and very secret. There was still nobody there! Was on my way to the Le Dank quarry to pay homage to Eddystone granite. Strange what one does on a sunny day! Thought the church door hinges quite ethnic. Thanks for all of your hard work as usual.
Regards, Paul

August 9th 2015

I was so glad to find your web page describing the events leading up to the closure of the Loop Road south of Okehampton Camp. I have lived on or near Dartmoor for the majority of my adult life and in recent years moved to live on the northern edge. As age takes its toll, like many people I find it harder to access some more remote places such as Hangingstone Hill, Cranmere Pool and beyond. The Loop Road would have been a valuable resource but I was aghast to find it closed to the public. That effectively cuts off access for me to places I would love to visit. As I reached retirement, I decided I would use some of the extra time to reach and photograph every tor on the moor. Sadly, that no longer seems possible as the more remote parts are now too far for me to reach.
Your information explains eloquently the run up to this regrettable state of affairs and for that I am grateful. Sadly, I missed your campaign and petition by a few years but I expect that was never going to make any difference to the closed minds involved. No more Duchy originals for me neither! Thank you for your efforts on behalf of lovers of Dartmoor. Your website is now on my ‘favourites’ list.
Best wishes, Graham Brown

August 5th 2015

Dear Tim,
I hope you are well.
I came across your website and the Beast of Longaford Tor image – who would I contact if I wanted to use this image as part of a wildlife TV programme about wildlife on Dartmoor. Inevitably big cat discussion is going to come up and it would be great to have some photographic evidence to refer to. If you are able to get back to me today, that would be most appreciated as we are filming this week.
All best wishes and I look forward to hearing from you,
Allanah Brookes l Development Producer

July 26th 2015

Hi there,
Whilst walking on Dartmoor recently I discovered what appears to be some WW2 bullets (1943) and some corroded and melted magnesium. Maybe parts of an old aircraft? It may of be interest to you.
Best ,Marcus

July 23rd 2015

Good morning.
We will soon be visited by relatives from the US, who have indicated that they would like to experience whortleberry pie – which would also be a new experience for us – we live in Somerset. I would appreciate your guidance. Is there anywhere that the berries can be purchased early in August?
If not, where, in Devon or Somerset could we find them growing so that we could collect some? Do you know of any shop that sells the pies?
Thank you. David Griffis

Sadly I don’t know where you can buy whortleberries but there are certainly numerous places on Dartmoor where you can pick them, just about now they are ripening and an ideal spot to get them is the area below Hare Tor where they grow in abundance (Ordnance Survey Grid Reference SX550 840). I don’t know of any shops selling whortleberry pies probably because they are so small and it would not be worth picking such large quantities needed to make them.

July 19th 2015

Hello Tim
Came across your excellent Legendary Dartmoor website today.
I live in North Staffordshire and I’m just in the process of putting together a small local publication about traditional kitchen cupboard remedies/cures of Staffordshire. I have a small section on warts and wart charming. I wondered if it would be possible to use the hands illustration (below) you use on your site in my publication. I assume it’s an old illustration.
Many thanks , Kath

July 12th 2015

Hi Tim
First of all, congratulations on the new website page about Haytor Down, brilliant read. (Quite agree about the bracken spread, they’ve been desperately crushing and cutting up here in Belstone over the last week or so, it’s got so out of control) Love that your daughter is mad for the ponies too, that’s how I got my initial passion for Dartmoor, as a child brought up in Paignton!
You’ve probably seen ages ago that we rectified our oversight and made sure you and your website got credited on the page itself
as well as on the Credits Page (which is now linked on the Home Page too!) always so much to do with a new website isn’t there?
I wonder how you would feel about putting a link to Visit Dartmoor somewhere on your own website, for people looking to come and visit the moor, having been inspired by Legendary Dartmoor? A sort of “here’s where to find somewhere to stay on Dartmoor should you wish to visit” basis?
We are the Official Tourism Partner to Dartmoor National Park Authority if such information is useful?
Look forward to hearing from you
Many thanks and best wishes, Jen

July 8th 2015

Dear Tim
Your website is a great resource. I’ve started to dip into it more and more.
Re the Whitehorse Hill kist: I walked past it on Wednesday and a few hundred metres further south at SX 6173 8555 I took a picture of what appears to be another, much larger kist/barrow, and I think that this is probably the one that John Chudleigh’s map is referring to.
Unfortunately I read your description after I had done the walk, so location and picture are not as good as they would otherwise have been – picture attached. We are looking south; my companions are heading towards the top of the southern peat pass that goes west off Whitehorse Hill; the “new” kist and northern peat pass are behind us. However, English Heritage do not have it listed as a protected site on their website, but it seemed clear to me that it was assembled by man.
Regards, Charles Duthie

June 19th 2015

Dear Mr Sandles,
I hope this finds you well. I work for Modern Television and we’re making a series for ITV about the British landscape, presented by Griff Rhys Jones. One episode in the series will look at Dartmoor, and as part of that we’re keen to look at legends and stories from the moors.
Would you be willing to have a chat with me about your favourite stories and legends from the area? I’ve been through your website but I’m interested to know which you find particularly intriguing.
Many thanks, James Phillips

June 15th 2015

Hello Tim, Whilst walking near Raddick Hill last week I came across a set of buildings in the forest edge but can’t find any reference to them anywhere, they are at SX 57855 70105, do you have any info on these please ?
Many thanks, Mike .
The ruin you refer to is that of the old Roundy Farm as you can see from the attached early OS map. There is a lot of information on the Pastscape website which can be found on the following link: Pastscape Record of Roundy Farm
Locally the farm was known as Roundypark whose name derives from the fact of their being nearby Bronze Age roundhouses in its enclosures. The old door lintel from the farm which is inscribed R. C. 1688 (Richard Crimes) now sits above the entrance to Wembley Walk and was taken there for safe keeping when the reservoir was constructed by George Shillibeer.

June 15th 2015
Can you tell me if there is any further information relating to the Bellever Idol research, please?
Regards, Nick H.
The page your are referring to was posted on the 1st of April 2012 and was an April Fool’s Day joke. Maybe it was a bit too believable as it has appeared in print a couple of times.

June 14th 2015

I have found your website Legendary Dartmoor and was interested to read about St Mary’s, Sampford Spiney as we lived in the old school just below the church for seventeen years. We were concerned that the church no longer had a pipe organ, but just an electric one, and so searched for a redundant pipe organ which would fit into the fairly small space available. We were directed to the church at St Endellion in Cornwall as they were planning to replace their small pipe organ with a new and larger one which would be better suited to their annual music festivals. So my husband and I bought the organ and gifted it to St Mary’s in 2001. It was re-built by Peter Bazeley of Tavistock who gave up hours and hours of his spare time to do so.
I am writing in the hope that you might correct the information on your website as in the future no-one will know where the St Mary’s organ came from. It did not come from “a church in north Devon”!
Kind regards. Jane

June 11th 2015

Thanks for the excellent article on the gunpowder mill.
One small point. Gunpowder was never referred to as blackpowder until the late 19th Century when smokeless gunpowder was introduced. As the mill closed in the 1890s its product would always have been known as gunpowder or frequently simply “powder”.
Regards , Geoff Smith

June 9th 2015
Good morning,
I hope you are able to help me in some way please, or at least point me in the right direction to find out more. At the weekend I brought two stamps which I believe they are letter boxing stamps. Is there anything you can tell me about them, if they are and where they are please, a possible age and anything more you might be able to tell me please. The square wooden one looks like it’s a metal stamping plate has the number 141 on the side of it.
Regards Natalie

June 5th 2015

Hello there Tim,
I have just been viewing your site online, excellent! So sorry to bother you. Could you tell me if there is a place or bridge called ‘Oxbridge’ anywhere on Dartmoor please? Even an old name or similar but not Cow Bridge. It’s just a small query that I think I have seen a sign there and, for the life of me I cannot find it again.
Thank you for your time.
Ed. Kingsbridge.
Thanks for your email, sadly I have never come across ‘Oxbridge’ anywhere on Dartmoor. There is Oxenham, Oxenham Cross, Oxenham Manor, Oxenham Arms and bridges named after every other animal you can think of.

June 1st 2015

Dear Tim
Just a quick note to say thank you for your extensive work on the Legends website … I love a passion!
I am referencing it in my new book – The Linescapes of Britain. Not quite finished yet … to be published next year by Square Peg.
Just wondering if there was a clear indication of what changed to make the likes of Grimspound less of s desirable residence.
Rackham says minerals leached from thin soil … but I have also read that the climate became more hostile, which would
suggest that it was milder back then in the Bronze Age .. is there any indication of how much warmer?
Many thanks again
Best Wishes – Hugh Warwick.

May 31st 2015

Excellent cheers for the reply, Would the mill only have processed corn, or wheat as well ? Any record of when it was built ?
It’s thought the mill was working by 1790 but could have been earlier and yes they definitely would have milled wheat as opposed to ‘corn’.
May 30th 2015
Hi Tim,
I was walking to Fingle Bridge today on the south bank and noticed a large stone structure that looked like a blowing house, located 100 meters down from the bridge.
There were two good size iron wheels that would have possibly been used to power the bellows. It was between 10 – 15 meters from the river.
The structure was not listed on my map, as most blowing houses are.
I have looked on Google for ‘ blowing house Fingle bridge ‘ and various combinations and there were no results.
Have you heard anything about a blowing house in that area ?
Here are two pictures from today of the wall, and iron wheels.
I am curious, do you have anything to add ?
Thanks for your email, what you came across are the remains of Fingle Corn Mill, you can follow the old leat channel back up towards the bridge. For more info please see – Fingle Bridge & Mill

May 29th 2015

Hello, Dartmoorlander,
I please was curious to ask about the original crosses from the Middle Ages — what was the approximate distance between the crosses which were used as pathway markers? Also, how far apart were the two Abbeys on the pathway which ran between them?

Thank you very much, Isobel Dozier

May 26th 2015

My name is Carol Dunn formerly Carol Blatchford .. My father was a serving prison officer at Dartmoor and would like any information on him that you may hold. We lived in Princetown in 1962 for 2 years as I recall, unfortunately my father died suddenly whilst still serving at Dartmoor in July of 1974… Thanking you .
Regards Carol Dunn

May 26th 2015

Hello Tim,
I have just found the article you wrote three years ago about John Orchard, the South Tawton forger and I wish to say, “Thank You”. I had read the newspaper reports of the case but your account has filled in the details. You see, I am researching my family history and I am fairly sure that John was my 4x great grandfather. All the clues are there and I am 99% sure, I just need absolute proof that this is the John who married Elizabeth Mortimore in Lustleigh and is the father of John Mortimore Orchard.
So thanks Tim. I think you have made my day.
Blessings, Amanda Scott

May 18th 2015
I am the new owner of the Ordulph Arms in Tavistock.
We are having a new website made and I was wondering if you would permit me to use some of your text from the Legendary Dartmoor website about Ordulph The Great to add to our page on the history of the Ordulph Arms. I would of course credit it to you.
Kind regards, Kevin Moore
May 15th 2015
Dear Sir,
I have visited your site on Legendary Dartmoor, it is very nice and interesting, I have a question: is your the poetry on page Dartmoor lichens? It sound very well
Paolo Modenesi
May 1st 2015
I’m working on a popular BBC travel and history TV series, ‘Great British Railway Journeys’.
In each episode we use an old railway tourist guidebook published in 1863 to visit different places by train and learn about their history. In every 30 minute programme we follow this guidebook through a historically significant area, our presenter, Michael Portillo, stopping off at the suggested towns and cities to explore their history and their culture, both at the time of our guidebook, and today, exploring how places’ identity is shaped by the past.
The series is very popular and is broadcast in prime slots on the channel BBC2 here in the UK, where they rate very highly with millions of viewers. They are also broadcast worldwide, including in the US.
This year we will be travelling from Birmingham, through the West Country and finishing by the sea in Devon. Along the way we will highlight the engineering achievements of the area, key industries, pioneering companies, notable people and important social and cultural movements. This journey will be split into 5 x 30 minute episodes.

I found your website while researching into Victorian fiction set in Dartmoor and thought I would get in touch. Would it be possible to speak to you about Dartmoor in fiction ?
Thanks and Best Wishes, Alex
April 30th 2015
Dear Tim,
Firstly thank you for your excellent website. As a Devonshire lad I have long been fascinated by Dartmoor and reading your material brings back happy memories of stories told while camping for Ten Tors and letterboxing. I wondered if you have any information about the South Common Plantation (SX 55686 80640). Having walked there and having observed it from the air it is such a striking feature and yet I can’t find out when it was planted or by whom. Is it associated with the military range or is it part of a more ancient feature? I would love to know more.

Many thanks, Mike Rhodes.

April 15th 2015

Dear Tim,

Many thanks for putting my pictures on your website over the years. I recently did a major overhaul with a new website of my paintings, so my old website address has now changed to (hence the links on your site having broken). I have added new images of the moor to the site so if you need anything for your website in the future feel free to use anything you require.

Again, many thanks, David Young

April 7th 2015

Hi Tim,
Just wanted to send a quick note of thanks for the Legendary Dartmoor website. I stumbled across it when looking for stories to tell the kids as we tramp across the moor and it’s been fantastic. The depth and volume of content is amazing and I’d have spent a fortune on books to find all of this. I’ve sent a small donation to help towards upkeep.
Best wishes, Chris .

March 23rd 2015

Dear Tim,

I’m a big fan of your Legendary Dartmoor site, and was fascinated to read about your discovery of the Skunk Farm! Could we possibly have a chat about it, as I thought it could make a fun piece for the BBC, who would have thought that skunks were bred on Dartmoor in the 1920s! If you could give me a ring on my mobile number below that would be great. Or else I’ll happily call you if you email me back with your number.

Thanks very much, Sophie.

March 21st 2013

Hi – I hope you don’t mind me contacting you. I found your name on this site where it mentions that there has been a geophysical survey at ‘Harold’s Stones’. I would be most interested if you could point me in the direction of any internet or other sources for anything you might have published on this, or if you can give further details yourself:

I am also very much interested in checking the alignment of the stones. I have two conflicting figures – one from a UK Govt site quotes 72 deg, another, Aubrey Burl ‘From Carnac to Callanish’, Yale UP, gives 49 deg. Do you have a figure for this ? I am aware that the stones are not in a perfectly straight line, so some +/- errors might be applicable.

Any comments would be much appreciated, Yrs, Dr Andrew Smith, Bristol.

March 17th 2015

Hi there,

I own the Royal Standard Inn in Mary Tavy (more accurately Blackdown as the village of Mary Tavy is, strictly speaking, on the other side of the A386!) Anyway, I have seen the ghost of a lady there a few times, as has my barmaid Katrina and daughter Charlotte. Footsteps have also been heard.

A local lady tells me Lady Tavistock (by which I think she means Lady Fitzhoward?) haunts the place but I can’t see why she would. After all, why would a member of the aristocracy frequent a miner’s hovel unless she liked a bit of rough!?! Have you heard of a female ghost haunting the Royal Standard, do you know anything of the pub’s history, and could you enlighten me somewhat? I am more than happy to have you feature anything you know / find on your brilliant website.

Thanks, Larry Mac

March 16th 2015

Dear Tim,

Having recently found and greatly enjoyed your “Legendary Dartmoor” website, I wondered if you might be interested in the attached ballad about Bellever Tor. I was inspired to write this poem during October 2014, following a walk on the moor with my father and a drive home past Bellever and Princetown. The ballad tells the apocryphal tale of a prisoner who escapes Dartmoor Prison and attempts to seek refuge in the rocks atop the tor…

I appreciate that the style of the poem (in particular the knowingly-contrived wordplay!) may not be to everyone’s taste, but am happy for you to decide whether this submission might be of interest to readers of your online “Dartmoor Verse” collection.

Best regards, Paul Mann.

Thanks Paul, your poem can be found in the Dartmoor Verse Collection – HERE

March 3rd 2015

Hi There,

I am writing a children’s book and I was wondering if I could use some of your materials for inspiration, I will credit your website as a reference. I was just looking through and you have saved me a massive amount of time and effort trying to locate all the legends around Dartmoor … I wondered if you had any further reading to recommend,

Thanks A J de Montjoie

February 21st 2015

Hello Tim, I’m not sure if you can help with this, but I suppose there’s no harm asking. I teach film and photography at The Small School in Hartland and some of my students want an isolated, moorland telephone box for a short film they are making. Ideally it should be one of the old red boxes and must not be near any houses. It would also be useful if it were located on the north side of Dartmoor, somewhere around Okehampton/Chagford for example. Any ideas?
I look forward to hearing from you, Paul.

The two that come to mind are the one outside Princetown (OS grid reference SX5754 7501) and the one just below the Forest Inn at Hexworthy (OS grid reference SX 6553 7264). From what I can recall they are both the old style. Hope this is of some help.

February 8th 2015

Hi, I wonder if you can help? I’m developing the Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish of Buckland Monachorum and as part of this, we are arranging a ‘Journey around the Parish’ in March to allow people to appreciate our rich history. We will have short talks at various stops, and I’d like to include Drakes Leat (as it passes through Clearbrook). I’m searching for someone who might be able to give the group a 10 – 15 minute talk on the Leat’s history / importance etc.

If you know of anyone, grateful for a contact. If worst comes to it, I can do something myself but I’d rather it was delivered by someone who knew what they were talking about!

Yours, , Ric Cheadle

January 21st 2015

Hello, My name is Oliver and I am currently conducting research for a screenplay I am writing set on Dartmoor, concerning two escaped convicts from Princetown prison in 1815. I have been reading some of the articles on your website, trying to get an idea for the time and period, but I wondered whether you’d be willing to briefly answer me directly with a question I have? If yes, thanks in advance. My question is thus: how exactly would a manhunt have been conducted on the moors at the time? Any help you could offer would be most appreciated.

Kind Regards, Oliver

December 31st 2014

Hi hope this finds you well? Sadly I have to report (although I am sure my good friend Ian Pitchford) may already have done so, but we visited the Northmore Cross late yesterday to find that some (words fail me here) idiot has broken off the cross and removed it. Is there anything that can be done? Do we need to inform anybody else?

Thank you and Happy New Year

Yours in adventure, Pen F.

Thanks for your email, various folk have reported that the small cross had disappeared much to their annoyance. I suppose it would be possible to make a replica as there are enough photographs of the cross in existence. However, it’s not quite the same heritage as the original and how long would that one last? I am sure the DNPA are aware of the situation.

December 14th 2014

Hello Tim,

First of all congratulations on your excellent site on Dartmoor – I have been reading it for a number of years and the footnotes of my own research often refers to Legendary Dartmoor. I recently noticed that you’ve been putting together a database of Dartmoor place names. Can you please tell me when this will be available. My own research is in the history of water management (I’ve recently completed my doctorate at the Centre for English Local History at Leicester) and I am currently investigating Dartmoor from the perspective of water use. So as you can imagine I would be fascinated to look at your list and pull out the names concerning water. Keep up the good work

All the best Drew Campbell.

December 6th 2014

Hello Tim,

We have just had a look at your website on the church and was curious as to the significance of the giant Owl image you have suspended over it . I imagine the man’s head to the side is also meaningful but could imagine it was something to do with the Squire Cabel … great website. thanks.

Terry (female)

December 5th 2014

Hi Tim,

Hope you’re well. This is the second time I’ve contacted you regarding not being able to find things. The first time was years ago about not being able to find the Fairley battle crash site on Lower White Tor (still not found it!)

This time it’s about not being able to find the metal plaque on Down Tor pointing to the stone row. From the photo I’ve narrowed it down to the eastern tail of Down Tor (about where the ‘w’ of Down Tor is on the 1:25 000) and have had a few runs out that way without luck.

Could you see your way to letting me know if I’m hot or cold, or even better, where it is? This would make an old(ish) man very happy and I can get off for a run somewhere else for a change!

All the best, Paul Fox

December 3rd 2014

I have finally identified one of my prized possessions, a Dartmoor Piskie inkwell. I have seen several similar pictures on the net, and like mine, they seem to be listening to flowers, or at least holding flowers to their ear. Could you please give some insight as to why? I have had him for about 35 years and have always wondered!

Thanks so much! Jo

November 30th 2014

you might have already seen this petition if not you might be interested in signing it, I found it through the site
they are asking for the land owner at new waste to allow parking there.

I just signed the petition “Keep Dartmoor Accessible, Allow Permissive Access at New Waste, Cornwood ” on

It’s important. Will you sign it too? Here’s the link: – Click Here

Maureen Vane

Thanks Maureen – duly signed.

November 29th 2014

Good evening Tim
On the ‘Verse and Song’ part of your site, you ask for any other contributions. I expect you might know of this one – but just is case. ‘The Lych Way by Show of Hands’ – HERE

We’ll probably have a go at walking in next summer.

Regards – Steve.

Thanks Steve, No I have not come across this before – nice song.

November 8th 2014

Hi Tim

I’m the new landlord of the Royal Standard in Mary Tavy, an old tinner’s pub once owned by the Wheal Friendship mine. Anyway, a lovely old girl came in this week and we got talking at the bar. Her late husband used to farm up near the Cherrybrook Bridge so naturally the conversation turned to the infamous hairy hands and I asked if he used to believe in them. My own feeling was that the story, whilst interesting and certain to give a pleasant chill to one’s spine, was probably just that – a story.

Imagine my surprise when she replied that not only did he believe in them but he’d seen them! They had tried to run him off the road one foggy night about 25 years ago.

“Was he frightened?” I asked, now fascinated by the tale.

“Terrified,” she replied. “He didn’t scare easily but he was terrified by them.”

Another customer, a moor man through and through, nodded in agreement. He too was convinced by the tale.

And now, having listened to them both, so am I.

By the way, a brilliant website. I love it.

Larry Mac Royal Standard

November 7th 2014


I found this website by accident when looking for the story about Lady Howard as I lived at Sourton for 14 years and her coach allegedly drove past our house every night. Scary stuff when you’re a towny just moved from London in the early seventies. Brilliant stuff.

Jeanne Whittaker

November 1st 2014

Hi Tim

I came across your page whilst researching books about Dartmoor folklore. My great grandfather Samuel Charles Wesley Casely was involved in the original 1921 hairy hands story. He was the prison Pharmacist and was called out to the motorcycle crash in which Dr Helby died. Samuel pronounced Dr Helby dead at the scene. I’m trying to locate the book and author that mentions my great grandfather in the story. Back in 1981/82 I was in a Dartmoor gift shop when my father found a book with the hairy hands story in that mentioned Samuel’s name. My father didn’t buy the book and so now I’m trying to hunt it down! Is there a list anywhere of all the Dartmoor folklore books published? I found Theo Brown’s “Devon ghosts” book in a second hand shop but she doesn’t mention my great grandfather in her version. She would have been ideal to talk to if she were still alive.

Any help / suggestions welcome

Best wishes Claire

I have looked through all the Dartmoor specific legend books and can find no mention of your great grandfather. If you go to the link below it will give you a list of Devon and Dartmoor legend books and it maybe it’s one of those you saw?

November 1st 2014

Hello Tim,

Went in search of the above tethering rock but unable to locate it at the grid reference given. In the end it was found just over 1/5th mile further south-south-west at GR SX 57341 85915 as per my GPS’s co-ordinates. Photos attached.

Regards, , Bob Woodland.

Thanks Bob, grid reference duly updated.

October 18th 2014

Hi Tim,

A very interesting development with regards to the Tor with No Name page on your web site. A friend of mine recently read it and came up with this, which is a portion of an OS map from his Army days. So it appears that the letterboxers didn’t invent this name but took it from an OS map. I will ask him when the map was dated.

Best wishes, Dave Martin

September 25th 2014

Dear Legendary Dartmoor:

I would like to do, this Saturday, an itinerary of Sharlock Holmes for one day in Dartmoor National Park. What are the best places to visit? Princetown?

Thank you, Best regards, Valeria Zago

Princetown is a good starting point as they have an Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the High Moors Visitors Centre. Just down the road is Fox Tor Mires which was supposedly the famous Grimpen Mire in The Hound of the Baskervilles. You could also drive down to Houndtor which again is supposed to be linked with Sherlock Holmes and is where some of the recent TV series – Holmes was filmed.

September 21st 2014

Hi Tim, you have a slight error on the GR of the tinners hut, it should be about SX 6693 6277.
Keep up the good work,
Davy of the Moors – Bob
PS. I have my bivi bag at the ready if Mary–Ann Ochota goes walk-about again on the moors.

Thanks for this, the page has been duly amended.

September 12th 2014

Please find attached photos of Sally Satterley. The picture of Sally is from Dartmoor Century so they’d need to give permission for it to be used. The other picture is of Crossing I think outside of Jolly Lane. I own the glass plate negative of this.

Mike Gilbert

Sorry for the delay in replying, a big thank you for the photos and for taking the time to send them – much appreciated.

August 27th 2014

I hope you can help me with a local name, I am writing about mid-Devon and would like to know if there’s a local name for cow-parsley

Many thanks, Christopher Bacon

I have always known Cow Parsley as ‘keck’ but other Devonshire names are; Rabbit’s Meat and Queen Anne’s Lace.

August 26th 2014

Hello Mr. Sandles

The children liked the story we read creating new endings for it and agreeing in the convict’s mother turning the son in to the police. The son was a murderer. I told them about your work and showed the landscapes in Dartmoor, so it was really good for everyone in the class. They did not seem to find the story tragic enough, the want more horror tales as if life did not give us enough of them! Well, I am very grateful about your help and send kind regards to you and your beautiful Dartmoor surroundings


August 25th 2014


We recently visited Powdermills near Postbridge and in the shop there are the remains of an old wooden frame with 2 x 300mm iron wheels with teeth on them both, attached to one of the wheels is an iron bar with a square end to it.

The owners think it is a water wheel, our thinking is there was a wheel attached to the square drive which was then driven by water possibly via a belt.

The two iron wheels with the teeth on them, or they could be cogs, was that used for grinding and the making of the gunpowder? Attached are 2 photos to give some detail. Would be interested to know.

Many thanks , Mike Glinn

Any suggestions welcome – see photos – HERE and HERE

August 21st 2014

Dear author Mr. Sandles:

Your work is very good and one can see how much you love those open lands and all the mysteries it brings. There is a writer named Kathleen Palmer who has a one act drama called “Dark road” that I read in a Spanish translation and could not find references of this author. The drama occurs in Dartmoor and there is a prisoner who has escaped his cell, so I looked at Dartmoor and found your work. Could the drama have been inspired by some real facts? I am planning to give the story to read to a group of gifted children aged 11 to 12 years old in Spanish, I live in the city of Concepción, Chile. Thank you for reading this mail, keep up your beautiful work

Beatriz Martinez R.

August 14th 2014

Hi Tim,

I’m confused! Is the northern Dartmoor ring road still open now or not as would like to get to Cranmere Pool. I rode my motorcycle around it a few years ago but somebody recently said now NO access.

Thanks, Paul – Yealmpton

Oddly enough I am just updating my Cranmere webpage, sadly the ring road is closed as according to the conservationists the traffic ???? spoils the dark skies at night – never mind the fact that walkers now have a hike to get there. I wonder how many of these sort will actually walk out to OP15 to see the dark skies???

August 10th 2014


At St Michael’s Church Ilsington we are proposing to hold a small exhibition within our church to commemorate our village fallen during the first world war over our remembrance week end in November.

We would like to reproduce your article on Moss Gathering under your Legendary Dartmoor, this will of course under your Copy Right with your kind permission to use within the exhibition. This will be for people to read and will not be for sale or further reproduction.

Kindest Regards Geoff Hill.

July 28th 2014


You show an old postcard that says it’s of Jolly Lane Cott with Sally Satterley to the left of the door. It’s not the right picture. I’ve attached a picture of Jolly Lane cott when Sally lived here. I can’t find the picture of Sally on the stone to the left of our front door but if you want it my wife probably has it.

Please let me know. Kind regards

Mike. Jolly Lane Cottage Hexworthy

July 22nd 2014


I’m writing a children’s novel partially set on Dartmoor. I visited the moor in 2009 and 2012, and noticed some square stone posts with letters engraved on them, like the one pictured below, and I wondered if you could tell me what these are for. I’m just finishing up the final draft and this information is quite important to part of the narrative, so if you could let me know as soon as possible, I would be very grateful.

Many thanks, Allan Robins PhD

What you saw was one of many stone boundary markers which mark such things as parishes, mining setts, the military ranges, etc, they come in all shapes and sizes and are found all over Dartmoor. The particular one you have photographed in one of a series belonging to Okehampton Parish Bounds – hence OPB.

July 21st 2014

Hi Tim

I have acquired some W R GAY postcards but are having a problem with a couple, Paul has many suggestions, some not printable, but no definite answer

1/ DFH means Dartmoor Forest Hunt

2/ DOH is Dartmoor Otter Hunt

3/ DVH we have no idea what the ‘V’ stands for…….can you help?

Thanks, Mary (Goodall)

The Dartmoor Vale Hunt

July 16th 2014

I have recently re-read your very informative page relating to sphagnum moss collection. I wonder if in your research you came across any mention of a special badge given by the Prince of Wales to workers involved with moss/medication production at the factory he sponsored in Princetown.

I have only come across one reference to this badge in Gerald Wasley’s book “Devon in the Great War”. The passage reads” The Prince of Wales issued the workers with a badge designed with the fleur-de-lys embossed in gold surrounded by a dark blue garland surmounted by a crown in red enamel and gold”

The Duchy of Cornwall are going to examine their archives, but any ideas, help, or information you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Regards David Ashman.

July 13th 2014

I would like to point something out about this page. Mary Whiddon IS NOT buried in the Church there is just a memorial to her there

Yours faithfully Morgan Philpott – Altar Server at St. Michael the Archangel Church Chagford

Many thanks for pointing this out – webpage duly amended.

July 7th 2014

I have just stumbled across your wonderful website while looking for things to do with tide dials.
I am an artist doing some research on Albrecht Durer’s famous print ‘Melencholia I. The print is full of mystery and has a number of different objects scattered around it, one of them being what looks like a sundial on top of an hour glass. It is a vertical, semi-circular dial with roman numerals from IIII to VIIII, the four being to the right. The pointer is hanging down and has another slightly curved pointer going underneath the dial. There is no shadow being cast onto the dial for some reason.
This work of art was produced in 1514, so I’m looking at medieval sundials, in particular dials that were used or converted into tide dials.
I know the very early dials, mass dials, scratch dials etc. were used on old church’s especially in England of Saxon origin and were also used for keeping track of the tides with a bell to indicate when it was full tide, very useful for sailors too. The print has in it a bell on the right hand side of the sundial and an hourglass underneath. A nautical theme is apparent in Melenchollia, so I’m hoping things will tally up.
I just wondered if you could maybe have more of an idea as to what kind of dial it may be.
I have sent an attachment of the dial cropped from the print, if you have the time to look at it I would greatly appreciate any response.
Regards, Gary Hind

July 1st 2014

Last weekend, with my partner, we undertook the Dartmoor national park Postbridge circular walk, part of which included the above. We were fascinated by the “starch factory” story; why build it there? No easy access, no apparent water supply yet the east dart not that far away. What suitable ground was there for potatoes? Why did the Hullett brothers even consider it, and how far did this enterprise go until they gave up? The (remaining) building is of fine design and construction, an obviously well considered project. We just find the whole enterprise fascinating. I had planned to look in the following volumes at our local library in order to find out more; High Dartmoor, land and people, by Eric Hemery – 1983, Devonshire Antiquities, by John Chudleigh – 1893 Guide to Dartmoor by William Crossing, illustrated by Philip Guy Stevens – 1909

HOWEVER, I just discovered your article on the web at and many thanks for that. You have obviously researched this topic. Is it worth pursuing this further? I am simply curious as to why the Hullett brothers decided to launch this enterprise, and what caused them to abandon it.Or would any pursuit simply lead to blind alleys?

I welcome your comments.

Regards, Mike Cowley

May 28th 2014

Good morning.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Hoping you can help me with a question I have. Back in 1996 my husband and I stopped the car in Dartmoor near some large boulders and decided to go for a walk. We hadn’t walked too far away when we came across the door way, entry into a building. There were no real walls left and the door way was just 3 large stones with the top stone having roman numbers carved into it. Inside the once room was a stone that had been used to grind corn etc. Outside of the structure was a stream and in the stream was another stone that had been well worn as a washing stone maybe. We walked up stream a way and came across an avenue of stones to a mound. I know this may be a mad question but as you seem to now all the monuments etc on Dartmoor I was hoping you might know which one I am referring to as we would like to visit there on our next trip to the UK from Australia. Would love to know as much information as you might have on this structure.
Many thanks, Sam Parry.

May 27th 2014

Hi Tim,

Regarding the stones at Lydford Gorge , we came across one many years ago, didn’t know what it was for, then found it in Dave Brewer Dartmoor Boundary Markers page 198. He believes they are for the Spooner family. Like many things we didn’t get back to look for the second stone but last March at long last went and found the other stone we cleared them both as they were covered in moss. We informed the staff at the information office who seemed very interested, looked at the photos and said they would pass on the information. Sadly looks like they didn’t. Just thought you might like this information. Love your site.

Robin Vane.

Many thanks for this information and I have updated the webpage, shame the NT staff did not act on their promises.

May 22nd 2014

Hi Tim,

Thank you very much for your swift reply. We actually have Eric Hemery’s book which we found through your website so thank you as it is a useful description. We are trying to get as much evidence as possible to present to the council so if any thing crops up it would be much appreciated.

Thank you again, best wishes Simon Channing

May 22nd 2014

Thank you for creating a wonderful website. Please take heart that thousands of people enjoy browsing though it – including me!

Kind regards, Robin & Wei-Wei, Dartmoor Blueberries

May 21st 2014

Good evening Mr. Sandles,

Firstly, may I just say that I have been following Legendary Dartmoor for some time now and I must congratulate you on your efforts! I love your site as I love Dartmoor itself. I was born and raised in Plymouth so Dartmoor has always been a magical place for me; especially now that I live overseas.

I am writing to ask your opinion regarding a possible project; I am a composer and I am intending to write a series of pieces based around the tales of Dartmoor. I have a two questions that you may be able to answer before I start my endeavours: Would you be looking for some music that plays upon opening your front page? Would you be willing to host the pieces somewhere on your website?

If you want to listen to some of my compositions you can find them on my website (my latest piece was inspired by the Brecon Beacons) -

If you are interested in either of those options please let me know. Otherwise, keep up the great work!

I hope to hear from you soon,

Kind regards, Ewen Sinclair

May 20th 2014

Dear Tim
I was wondering if you could help?
My wife and I live in the hamlet of Lettaford. The council/DNPA have recently approved that the historic mariners way be redirected away from its route through the farmyard of Higher Lettaford farm. We have only lived here since 2006 but every local resident have never known the route go anywhere other than through the yard.
We plan to appeal this decision and are currently gathering as much written evidence and descriptions of the mariners way. Do you have or know of any written descriptions that would describe the route through the hamlet?
Thank you in advance, Simon Channing.

May 17th 2014

Hi friend

I love your Tavistock badger story, and a while ago, I included it in a radio programme about badgers, which I made for our community radio station. I credited you of course. I’ve just seen your brilliant update about TB! Well done
(shame it is not true) – Helen

May 13th 2014

Hi, I’m hoping you can help me…
My father-in-law trained with the Royal Marines in the 50’s & 60’s (a lot of training was done in Dartmoor) My husband and I (ex-military Australia) are staying at Tavistock in December and I would love to surprise him with a visit to Dartmoor, especially a rifle range, etc. He has his Australian Weapons Licence. I know it would mean the world to him to shoot a rifle, etc where his dad shot one. Is there any way we can make this happen?
Thank you so much in advance, Kate Rogers

April 29th 2014

Dear Tim.

I would like to thank you for the continued hard work you put into your website Legendary Dartmoor. I must have read, and re-read your site many times over and it continues to keep me informed of so many varied aspects of the moor.

I work offshore (as I type I am bobbling about the North Sea) and as the shift drags on I keep up my spirits and plan my next Dartmoor adventure using your site. I live in Brentor and have been on Dartmoor since I was a kid. When I am not offshore I can be found out in all weathers as a callout member of Dartmoor rescue or exploring with the dog.

Your website always delivers somewhere else for me to re-visit in a different light knowing a little bit more about the history and legends that weaves together the character of Dartmoor.

Its always nice to read about a place so close to home when I am far away, If our paths ever cross on a high and mist wreathed tor I will be sure to buy you a beer to say thank you for your commitment and devotion to such a wonderful place in the world.

Kind regards, Mark Griffiths.

No problem Mark, it’s a pleasure and thanks for your kind comments.

April 24th n2014


I have been to Scorhill stone circle and want to bring some of my friends however, I do not know exactly how to get to them by car. Someone drove me the first time.

I am going to be coming from Exeter and would love some directions. I have a gps but I would need some sort of address or postcode that would take me to the Dartmoor National Park. I know it is near Chagford but that is it. Any chance you could help me out with some directions?

Thank you so much for your time and information.

Kind Regards, Jaci Loos

I am not sure whether or not you received the map I took the time and trouble to send as you did not reply, hope it was of some help?

April 23rd 2014

Many thanks for your website article …….THE INDIANS HEAD. Your article refers to a last sighting of the Indians head in August 2007.I am delighted to report that it was still there yesterday 23/04/14. We had quite a difficulty finding it because We were taking our directions off a second viaduct approx half a mile down the flow of the leat. This one is of granite construction and We were intrigued as to why it was known locally as iron bridge!!!!! For the benefit of equally dim souls such as us you may wish to point out in your article that the viaduct they are looking for is actually made of iron.!!!! One other point which could help others is the ref to John Robins directions. We believe it would help considerably if it was made clear that his directions were given on the basis of walking DOWN STREAM from the aqueduct Thank you so much for your website .We hope you will find our suggestions for minor improvement to be useful.


April 18th 2014


I have just been browsing your website with much interest and I wonder if you could possibly tell me if Grant’s Pot is still in operation? I am writing this on behalf of my husband, John Grant, the founder of the Pot, who is unable to contact you himself due to ill health following a stroke.

I know he would be so interested in hearing any news regarding the Pot. It is several years since he has been able to go out on the moor and he is now 84 years of age.

Thank you,

Regards Susan Grant

Sorry for the delay in replying but work is quite busy at the moment. Sadly I can’t help much with this as it is many years since I visited Grant’s Pot. Maybe if you put your question on the Letterboxing Forum somebody will help?

April 14th 2014

Dear Tim,

Looking back at my emails after a recent holiday I can’t find a record of a reply to your email below. I’m going to err on the side of caution and thank you – in case I haven’t already – for such a comprehensive write up on the church.

We’re organising an event to celebrate the completion of our recent glass conservation project at St Michael’s, and the return of the East Window, on Tuesday 3rd June at 11am. We’d be thrilled if you could join us. They’ll be talks on and tours of the conversation and new interpretation and refreshments on hand. Do let me know if you think you can join us.

With best wishes, Katrina

April 2nd 2014

Hello, I recently came across your website and found it very interesting, thank you for sharing the information.

I was wondering if you could please add this query to your Visitors book page. I am seeking information about the Zeal Tor Tramway and also the Shipley Bridge Naptha works. It was my Gx4 grandfather – Captain Leyson Hopkin Davy and his partner Mr William Wilkins who owned and built these works in the 1840’s. Captain Davy served in the East India Company (Bengal and Java) and was born and bred in Wales, specifically Glamorganshire (1782 – 1872). I understand that for some time he lived in Totnes and was involved in these works. My query is .. what is this professional soldier doing in Dartmoor, establishing a Naptha works? Perhaps their is a family link in Devon? .. I understand Davy is a common name in Devon?

Thank you in advance, – Michael Davy.

April 1st 2014

Dear Tim Sandles

My name is Coran Gleed and I’m a student of photography at Plymouth College of Art, I recently came across your website in search of local badger setts and saw that you are not giving the location of any you know of which I strongly agree with due to certain goings on.

My project that I am writing at the moment is about British conservation and I will be needing photos of badgers and many other iconic British animals I was contacting you in hope of you revealing one of the setts to me I completely understand if you will not. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Kind Regards Coran Gleed

Sorry it’s not in the badger’s best interest to give out such information. Maybe if you approached the Plymouth and South West Devon Badger Group they may be able to assist?

March 27th 2014

Hi –

Just enjoyed a visit to the ‘Hairy Hands’ branch of your website. It was especially useful as I am teaching literacy to Y6 children – thank you. I provided them with the link to your site and subsequently noticed that the word ‘ar**hole’ is included towards the bottom of the page. I wonder if it could be removed ? The site is a bounty of information for children but I hesitate to recomend visiting sites that contain inappropriate language. I hope you understand.

Thanks and best wishes, Jason Cuthbert

Many thanks for your email. Whilst I fully understand that it would not be prudent to expose your Y6 children to such words please bear in mind that the website is aimed at an adult audience and was not designed as a teaching aid hence there will be the occasional ‘adult expletive’. Incidentally, as you are a Y6 teacher you may like to know that there are two ‘M’s in recommend.

March 24th 2014

I was looking at your article about Beatrice Chase as I have several of her Dartmoor books. In the article you say that “Dream Tor” is thought to be Wind Tor. However you may not know that in her book “The Dartmoor Window Again” there is a photo (p. 98) by Chapman & Son, Dawlish which is entitled Dream Tor. This is Top Tor, not Wind Tor.


David Lee – Exmouth

Thanks for your email, I definitely agree and if you see my later webpage there can be no doubt that Dream Tor is Top Tor

March 19th 2014


I loved your Hoggy song! My friend came to Cornwall last week and bought two fine hog puddings to take back to Kent as presents…but alas left them behind in my fridge!

I came upon your site to learn how to cook them and think I will whack them in the oven for 10 minutes but at what temperature? as you say not too hot?

Looking forward to a massive breakfast at the weekend.

Thank you, Sally Ann

March 15th 2014


Don’t quite understand the assertion about the source for the clay used for some of the Whitehorse hill artefacts. Why does it have to be extra-Dartmoor?

We had (and still have) very good pottery clay deposits on Dartmoor – at Bovey Tracey where therew was a once thriving pottery.

I worked red clay taken from deposits near Brimley, Hemyock (a bit off the Moor!) and near Redlake when I was an art student back in the mid ’50s. It was good for throwing, and well suited to coiled handwork.

No reason our predecessor artist-craftsmen didn’t have local sources. Can be proved where it came from if the correct analyses are carried out.

Jeremy Greenaway

March 14th 2014

Dear Tim,

I recently came across your website whilst carrying out research for a new, prime-time ITV documentary series presented by the actor, Richard Wilson. The series will see the actor exploring the counties of the UK by car. He’s going to be following the recommendations in The Shell Guides – a series of quirky travel books edited by the well-loved and opinionated poet, John Betjeman, and published between 1934 and 1984.

In each episode Richard will visit a different county to find out what’s changed and what’s stayed the same. He’ll meet the locals, visit the same attractions and sights mentioned in the original Guides, and drink in the same pubs. Over the series he’ll build a true picture of how Britain has really changed over the past eighty years.

I am currently carrying out research for the Devon episode and am looking into a possible story about pixies on Dartmoor. There are many references to Pixies and how to save yourself from being pixie-led in the original 1936 Devon guide so it would be interesting to explore this further. I’m not sure if there is a person or a group of people who have a keen interest in this who I may be able to speak to? Any help you may be able to give me would be much appreciated. In the first instance I’d be looking to have a chat with someone on the phone to find out a little bit more about the story.

Thank you for your time. Please let me know if you would like any more information from me.

Best Wishes Ellie

March 10th 2014


Vixen Tor – Hope to climb it again one day. Was there a couple of years ago and got to the top. Best tor on Dartmoor. Climbed it first when with Totnes Boys Brigade in ’62, then did it with my 2 boys and many times since. Also with Royal Marines who did some mega climbing routes there. Trespassing is ok as long no damage is done.

Tony Rudall

March 10th 2014


I am trying to discover more (actually anything!!) about a little deserted old farmstead called Vinnimore in the Bovey Valley woods at Lustleigh Cleve . It is just upstream from the packhorse bridge (Hisley Bridge) where the weir once was. It was only about 4 acres according to the 1837 tithe apportionments. Have you any knowledge of this sad and deserted little place ? I would be really grateful if you know anything about it

Yours hopefully, Caroline Derry

February 27th 2014

I spent some time on your website recently – and assure you I could have spent many hours more; what a fantastic site! – and noted with some interest the section on Dartmoor churches. I live near the moor and work for a charity that runs two Dartmoor churches: St Michael’s at Princetown and St. Nonna’s at Bradstone near Tavistock.

I wonder if you’d consider including info on each of these churches on your site? I’m not sure if you do all the research on your site yourself (phew, if so – that’s a lot of work) or whether you accept contributions. I attach information on each church just in case, and hope this is useful.

With best wishes, Katrina

February 10th 2014

My girlfriend and I would like to know the origins of the name. Where or what or who, does the “Dart” or “Darty” part of the name come from?

Thank you, John D. Swain

The name Dartmoor, Detremora, Dartymoor simply comes from the fact that it is an area of moor on which the river Dart rises and flows through.

February 7th 2014

Dear Tim,

Happened across your website and I was wondering – as a local historian – if you might be able to help me regarding a family matter? My Great Grandfather was Edmund Dene Morel, who did a lot of work bringing the iniquities of the Congo Slave Trade to wider attention at the turn of the 20th Century. He was then an active peace campaigner, jailed for pacifism in the Great War and then ousted Churchill from his Parliamentary Seat in Dundee in 1922.

The Dartmoor connection is that he was living in Aller House (or Mill) in 1924 and had a fatal heart attack as he walked up Easdon Tor. He lay against a rock to await help that arrived too late, and his many supporters then engraved the rock on which he died (on the back, some reports say). The question we’ve been asking for a while is: Where is that rock now, and can we find it? I haven’t been up there myself, but a second cousin has, and he didn’t come across it, despite a lot of searching. I was wondering whether you had any information on this, or might know where I can find any? E D Morel was my great grandfather, and Dartmoor to this day still has many Morels and Richardsons kicking around. Thoughts?

All best and many thanks, Jasper Fforde

Sorry Jasper, can’t help you on this one, any suggestions would be appreciated.

February 1st 2014

Hi Tim,

Alan Watkins here (do hope you remember me). I currently have a series in Paul’s Dartmoor News entitled ‘Dartmoor Place Names’ wherein I give short descriptions of the more obscure names which have long fascinated me. To this end I was hoping to include ‘The Watching Place’ later this year and whilst already aware of some of it’s history I have just been reading the splendid description on your website. Would you have any objection to me hinting at the more obscure legends, without of course entering into any blatant plagiarism? Should you be agreeable then I will mail a draft to you in due course before submitting the article to Paul (and maybe add a credit too).



No problem and a credit would be welcome.

January 30th 2014

Hi Tim,

Thank you for your prompt reply which I wasn’t expecting so quick, the answer has helped me greatly. I have used your site a few times now to gain answers to questions about Dartmoor as all geocachers have for answers to puzzles for caches on Dartmoor. I’m not sure if you are aware of this, if not a big thank you from all of the cachers that visit Dartmoor.


January 29th 2014

Hi, I am a geocacher, and a question has foxed me, the answer of which will allow me to solve a puzzle, which in turn will allow me to find a geocache. The question (in question) is “Rambling on” Author born 190G the author in question is John Robins (this much i have found out), but I can not find out his year of birth, after trawling the web for quite a few hours. I was just wondering if you have come across the author and could possibly help me, with the answer.

Kindest regards,

Paul Bevan.

Thanks for your email, according to his profile in ‘Rambling On’ he was born in 1905, hope this helps.

January 28th 2014

Dear Tim,
On the index page at /Leg_index2.htm you mention Beatrice Chase but not Chase, Beatrice, and there is no entry for Venton. Have you got any information about George Leaman Lark, born 1859 ? He
sounds a bit of a character:
From the Western Times, Thursday 25 July 1901:
George Lark, road contractor, of Widecombe, sent a note pleading guilty to using bad language outside the Vicarage, and was fined 13s 6d inclusive.
There is also an interesting article about my great-great-grandfather:
From the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette Daily Telegrams, Saturday 20 April 1878:
William Bray, of Widecombe, thatcher, was sent to the House of Correction, under the Criminal Justices Act, for stealing a woollen scarf from the house of Robert Bearne, the prosecutor. Not a very clever move !
Thanks very much for a great website.
Steven Bray.
January 28th 2014


Myself and a friend of mine have been looking into resurrecting Devonshire Wrestling, and have found that some of your entries regarding the subject differ slightly from some information we have (probably due to some of the information we have being confused/muddied with Cornish wrestling) and also some information that we have not come across before. We were wondering if you had any more information about the subject that you could send us or perhaps some of your sources?

Thank you, Matt Jelley

January 26th 2014

Hello Tim Sandles,

Thanks and congrats for your web site which I’ve just come across. It ‘ll take an age to work through it all, but I am impressed. I come at it as a retired professional physical geographer /soil surveyor who spent all
his working life in Devon. The only aspect of university human geography that ever appealed was historical geography, much of it aka landscape archaeology, so I have some fellow feeling with you.

The specific cause of finding your web site was that I have spent much of the last few years doing “pro bono publico” a soil survey of the Chagford- Moreton area, [SX68 /78* on the 0S 1:25k map system], a project that fell foul of government cuts in the 1980s. In seeking funding for digitising and publishing the maps and report, one charity asked for more on the wider aspects of landscape than I’d covered in the normal technical report. The model they suggested was full of stuff about folk lore, artists [in the widest sense] who had been inspired by the area of study’s landscape, which I’m trying to emulate. So I’ve found your stuff really helpful.

( * Limits W to E OS easting through Cut Hill to easting through Heltor, S-N northing through Jay’s Grave to that through Drogo)

During the 500 + days I’ve spent legging it round the area, and I haven’t quite finished it yet, I’ve come across lots of the things you touch on, e.g. Lustleigh clam bridge, which I eventually discovered they’dreplaced and fenced off. I did the obvious and climbed the H’n’S fence and once more use the clam, not the suburban monstrosity. But did you know there are at least 2 others upstream on private land? Other things you may or may not know as I haven’t had time to check every one of your 800+ pages are worth a mention, and there will be droves more that will come to mind at 3 a.m. some sleepless night.

Re Headless Cross, Mardon Down, do you know about the US Army’s railway there, plus other gems about the Yanks at Moreton?

What about trees growing on top of large granite boulders and tors -there’s lots of them and there ought to be folk lore about such oddities?

Literature and art. W.R. Sickert, top Brit Impressionist painter painted Rushford Mill. John Galsworthy had a second home at Wingstone, Manaton and used Kitty Jay’s story in “The Apple Tree”.

The Wanson Manor ghost story ought to carry a health warning as the residents have a local reputation for being, shall I say, defensive.

Plaque above Fingle Bridge re Siegfried Marian a story of “an enigma: bad, mad, or before his time?” which I’ll put in the Trans DA some time. I put something about him in a parish magazine and got a phone call from a bloke in Colorado with some good stuff!

The ground around Statts House, and nearly all the hill tops to Wild Tor had the peat completely removed by the carbonarii [see Helen Harris etc], with meilers near Wild Tor.

These are a few thoughts which might interest you, or you may be aware of. Anyway keep up the excellent work, its a gem.

Regards Tim [ not Sue] Harrod

January 23rd 2014

Hi Tim,
Good to see your unique web site in good health. We’ve recently re-erected our web page featuring the Dartmoor Ancient Walk/Perambulation. Please feel free to use this link if you wish.
Regards Ian & Caroline.

January 23rd 2014

Hi Tim,

Love the site, but thought we could help with translation of one of the entries in the visitor book…

I am sorry to use French language in this message but this is all I know. Could you tell me how old is the legend about the giants of Torridge and Tavy? And do you have references about it? In books from the 19th century found on there is no mention of it. I did read somewhere else that it was a recent legend.
And does Great Torrington (on the Torridge) is part of Dartmoor?
Thank you for your response

Hope this helps, keep up the good work.

Keiran O’Farrell

Thanks Keiran you’ve been a great help

January 17th 2014


My apologies for bothering you but I came across your excellent site because I was searching for the meaning of the word “droke”. I had also come up with the “steep sided valley” meaning but, as with yourself, this didn’t fit the context. To explain – I am the estate historian for an estate here in northwest Wiltshire and I am currently researching the development of fields associated with the estate. I am also one of the volunteers working to index and catalogue the enormous archive from Lacock Abbey that the local History Centre has just acquired and, in one of their new boxes, I came across a Management Agreement for an area (Northmead) that lies in the estate I am particularly focused on, hence my interest. In it the tenants of the area agreed

That as Little Dunley is part of Northmead for the Benefit of all the Proprietors the ruinous way between Northmead and the said Dunley shall be made good at the charge of al the Proprietors agreeable to their shares by putting a good Stone Droke so that Cattle and Wagons may pass over the same

and elsewhere

That all the trenches and the two Brooks in the said meadow be scoured up and cleansed at the charge of the proprietors according to what they possess lying contiguous or adjoining to the said Brooks and trenches and that two Droks (sic) be put over the two Brooks so that Wagons may pass to and fro with hay

The most obvious form here would be either bridge or maybe road, but neither of these sits comfortably with the fascinating possibilities you discovered.

I just wondered if you have any more information on this uncommon word or any comments? Probably I am grabbing at straws here lol but it did give me an opportunity to congratulate you on a magnificent site, I was extremely impressed.

Thanks for your time

Tony Pratt

January 16th 2014


I’m making a film about Sabine Baring-Gould and am looking for any images of Sally Satterly. I’d like to get a higher res copy of the postcard on your website showing what is thought to be her home and her sitting in the doorway. Where did you get it from? Any help gratefully appreciated.

Jo Horsey

January 1st 2014


excusez la langue française de ce message, je ne connais que celle-ci.

Pouvez-vous me renseigner sur l’ancienneté de la légende concernant les géants Torridge et Tavy ? En avez-vous des références ?
Sur les livres du XIXème siècle de, il n’ y a aucune référence à ce sujet. J’ai pu lire, par ailleurs, que cette légende était récente.

Great Torrington (sur la Torridge) fait il partie du Dartmoor ?

Merci de votre réponse,


Sorry, I’m awaiting translation before replying, always got thrown out of the French classes at school 🙁

December 31st 2013


Many thanks for the positive review of ‘Dartmoor’s Tors and Rocks‘ which should help us to sell more books and raise funds. Keep up your excellent site – I always look for information there.

Ken Ringwood.

December 15th 2013

Hi Tim,

Congratulations on your interesting and informative website. I’ve just been reading your ideas about the origins of the name of the stone Aaron’s Knock and wondered if you have considered the archery term “nock” which is the slit or notch cut into the end of an arrow where it fits onto the bowstring. Just a thought – that’s exactly what it looks like to me!

Best wishes, Shelagh

December 14th 2013

Many thanks for a great website. Just one observation having walked to Langstone Moor last weekend. You state: Langstone Moor lies on the eastern edge of the Dartmoor National Park. Western, surely? Best wishes

Nigel Canham Senior Reporter

December 11th 2013

Hello Tim ,

I have been a regular visitor to your website over the years . My partner and I recently ( June 1st 2012 ) took over The Forest Inn at Hexworthy and I have got to know the Church Wardens for St Raphael’s at Huccaby . I have also offered my services to update the website for St Raphael’s Church and wondered whether there was a page on Legendary Dartmoor – and there isn’t . So I was wondering whether you would consider putting a page together ?

Information about the Church can be found at

Kind regards ,

David George Ellis & Sam Bryony Self

November 26th 2013

Hello and greetings from Australia. I was wondering if you have the origins of the Hawson Cross? Or any names attached to the Hawson farm that was mentioned in thus page as my family comes from England and only came to Australia in the 1890’s. Tim Hawson

November 10th 2013

Hi Tim,

A very interesting Site. I’ve not read it ALL yet, but intend to return and peruse at greater length in between other stuff I do . . . .

I am also a confirmed Dartmoor obsessive. IMHO, if you have spent even a little time there it is difficult to be unmoved by what you see.

I spent a large part of my life there (or so it seems now) in one particular place, for a month (usually August, from as early as I can remember up until 1976) – and the effect on me was such that I got to thinking “was it only me that felt this way”?

I have contrived to visit over the years as often as I can – My sister now lives near Newton Abbot – and she feels the same as me . . . .

About ten years ago, I made tentative steps towards creating some sort of website – to announce what I felt. Like you, my html skills were – and still are – fairly fundamental – and I don’t do enough for it to remain in my brain for very long . . .

I was surprised and delighted to get the occasional email from people I had met 30 or 40 years ago and I developed the Site to include a Photo Gallery. People started sending me photos which I uploaded. More people came on board – and I took the next step and created a Forum, so they could converse and relate memories in a more immediate way.

I suppose its not really a “general release” Site like yours, rather more personal – to a select group of people, however, it DID affirm that I was NOT the only one who felt that the Dartmoor experience was really something rather special . . . . .

If you go to my Portal here: there are two links. My personal page is about me, and the the other link is to the Website. The Website has a link to the forum . . . .By all means, pop in and look around. It will better explain what the Site is about, than I can describe here. Spooky goings-on have already cropped up in the Forum – so I shall be posting a link to your site in due course.

Best Regards

Chris N Miller

October 25th 2013

Dear Sir,

When you read my signature you will not be surprised why I visited your site. I found it very interesting. At the risk of seeming to be too ‘clever by half’ I would just like to point out that the spelling in your rolling banner should be ‘RECEIVED’.

Best wishes,

Keith Bowerman.

October 11th 2013

Dear Tim,

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you, however I have made an observation that you might be interested in. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading articles on your website, many memories of places that I used to visit in my youth have come flooding back as well as many of the late night ghost stories we used to tell while camped out on the moors.

In the late 90’s (1998 I think, but definitely sometime between 1997 and 2000), while I was very much into my bird watching, I recorded the first black grouse for several years on Dartmoor. I forget the time of year (but as I was training for Ten Tors at the time, most certainly springtime), but I can still vividly remember the surprise of seeing a large male bird being startled as we approached it. Having spent a lot of time hiking and birding in Scotland, I was very familiar with black grouse and knew exactly what it was straight away. The record was accepted by the county bird recorder and the Dartmoor Study Group, and appeared in the annual Devon Bird Report for that year (as I recall the entry was about a paragraph, including a description of my sighting followed by speculation that there may be a very small population, as every few years one gets reported). Unfortunately I’m pretty sure I’ve lost my copy, as I’ve moved home (and county) several times since then and have not seen it in several years. Anyway – the really interesting thing is that I saw the bird on Kitty Tor, which is where you mention that the most recent sighting was in 2005. At first I thought this might be a mistake, as you quoted from a book published in 2005 that may be referencing my record from the 90’s. However, I then checked the Devon Bird Watching and Preservation Society’s bird list list and found that they also have a date of 2005 for the last Devonian black grouse. Very odd that two birds would turn up in exactly the same place at around the same time of year – but unless there’s an error somewhere in the records, Kitty Tor would seem to be the place to keep an eye out for them. Indeed, if the 2005 Kitty Tor sighting is right, then it could well be the very same bird that I saw over a half a decade earlier. Black grouse are known to usually live around 5 years, are very territorial and tend to stick around close to where they were born. It is therefore quite possible that at between the late 90s and 2005 that Kitty Tor was the best, and possibly only, place to find black grouse. If there is a small breeding population remaining on the moors, then that would be the place to look for it. That said, however, I still remain sceptical of the possibility of a small breeding population (as much as I want it to be true) and wonder if the bird was released or escaped.

Best wishes, Mike Williams.

October 8th 2013

Hello Tim: I was researching for pleasure when I came across your site and saw the picture of the round houses of Dartmoor. Couldn’t help but comment. I live in the state of Utah in the USA. At one time, thousands of years ago, this beautiful desert land was inhabited by a nomadic tribal people dubbed the Fremont Indians. I was struck by the unique similarity between their dwellings and the Dartmoor roundhouses. The rock art of these pre-columbian people is still visible on the sandstone cliffs in Utah and speak to us today of these people and their connections to the earth. They derive their designation from the explorer John C. Fremont known to Americans as the Great Pathfinder.

Just thought you might be interested.

Tracie Fielden

October 2nd 2013

Hi Tim – strange request – but I’m keen to do an interview with someone who knows about Dartmoor and in particular Hay Tor. I’m putting together a piece for BBC Radio Devon and we’ve been talking to people about some of Devon’s ‘best views’…Hay Tor has come up as one of them so I was hoping it would be possible to interview you at the site and for you to tell our listeners why it’s such a magical spot/view. The only draw back is it has to be done today – short notice I know – but if you don’t ask!? Here’s hoping – please reply ASAP or give me a call.

Many thanks, Jo.

August 27th 2013


I recently went up to Fernworthy stone circle, a favourite place of mine. When I got back I surfed the net and came across your very interesting site. I’ve got a little story about that circle. I went up there with some friends, maybe thirteen years ago, my friends bringing a greyhound with them. As we were standing admiring the stones, the greyhound suddenly began racing round the outside of the circle over and over again. Was it something magical in the stones or do greyhounds do that anyway ? It seemed strange to me. I have a picture of it !

Regards Graham

August 21st 2013

Hi Tim,

I have really enjoyed reading your website! And am really impressed by your in-depth knowledge of Dartmoor. I have recently returned to Devon having lived in London (and several other places!) for the last 20 years. I am exploring the possibilities of setting up a tourism business in and around Dartmoor. Would you be interested in having an informal chat about being involved in such a venture? I’d be really interested to speak with you. Let me know and perhaps we can arrange a meeting.

Best wishes, Chris.

August 14th 2013


Just to let you know that love your site – being an avid letterboxer came across your website from links on a letterboxing site. Similar to yourself interest in Dartmoor initially started from letterboxing (my only grumble is I don’t get up there as much as i would like!) and is slowly developing into a little obsession, when not out on the moors I am either plotting letterbox locations on my computer or scouring charity shops for old books on Dartmoor. Anyway, back to your site – would just like to say that I think it is a fantastic site with all different aspects of Dartmoor’s history / legends etc in one place, informative yet easy to read. My only criticism is that would love to see it in print as a book so that I could read at any time! Is your previous book a pilgrimage to Dartmoor crosses still in print? – if not will keep any eye out in second hand book shops.

Keep up the fantastic work and will be visiting the site soon


Thanks for your email, my book is no longer in print but can be found on ebay etc. Several other people have suggested that a book should be published based on my website and I must admit it is now something I am considering – just need to find a publisher willing to trawl through the pages and select the content. Just one tip regarding Dartmoor books, there is a website called ‘The Internet Archive’ which has quite a few of the old and early Dartmoor books that can be downloaded in pdf format free of charge. It does mean that you can only access them on a computer or tablet but can save a fortune

August 14th 2013

Dear Sir or Madam,

I have been commissioned by The History Press to produce my second book titled ‘Haunted Dartmoor’, I have previously completed and had published ‘Haunted Plymouth’.

I am now looking for information and cases to be featured in my latest book. So I would like to enquire if there is a possibility that I could reference your fantastic and informative website Legendary Dartmoor in my latest book.

You would be welcome to contact Matilda Richards, Commissioning Editor at The History Press for further details

Yours sincerely, Kevin Hynes

July 29th 2013

Hi there,

I’m a 3rd year film student at the University of Salford and am currently planning my third year project. I’m making a travel documentary and as I am originally from Devon I have decided to focus my documentary around Dartmoor. Specially focusing on the Beacon system.

I’m in the research stage of my documentary, I read your article on the Beacons on your website and i’d be really interested in hearing more of what you have to say. I want to specifically talk about how the Beacons were used in the Armada.

If you’d be willing to talk my numbers 07508317443. I’d also be interested to know if you have any further contacts who could give me more information.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards, Gabriel Winn

July 22nd 2013

Dear Tim Sandles, I produce a monthly newsletter for Bridestowe and Sourton parishes. I have often seen articles on your website that I think would be of great interest to many of our readers. A local resident, Howard Barkell, has written an article in which he makes a fleeting reference to wort picking. When I was researching worts I came across your fascinating piece on hurt picking and I wondered if I could reproduce part of it in the newsletter . I will of course give a full reference and anything else you would require. The newsletter gets delivered to 450 households in the two parishes free of charge and is available on line via Bridestowe’s website. look forward to hearing from you Regards Alison Young Bridestowe and Sourton Extra (BaSE)

July 16th 2013


Thank you for that – very interesting and enjoyable. I have the book, “Over the Hills” and will look it out again to see further references. Keble Martin was my grandfather’s first cousin; Keble’s father was the brother of my great grandmother, Fanny Martin, of Dartington. Our common ancestors were William Martin who married Jane Champernowne.

Best wishes, Diana Hodges nee Brereton.

July 7th 2013

Hello I’m 22 and I have always lived in Devon but have visited Dartmoor only a few times much to my disappointment in not owning a car! Id just like to say how much I enjoy reading your website and its become a daily activity of mine! I am also interested in history and mythology. I am grateful to have recently found your site with such abundant information and stories! Thanks a lot, Jade- Newton Abbot.

July 4th 2013

Dear Tim Sandles,

My name is Melissa Westwind and I am writing a short book about some of the pre-1980 legends which could have inspired modern ideas of the Beasts of Bodmin, Dartmoor and Exmoor. At the moment I am looking at some hound folklore, and I came across your fantastic page about the Deancombe Weaver

The reason I’m writing is to ask permission to reproduce your map (with whatever copyright statements you think are appropriate) in my book. I wanted to ask special permission as technically my book is a commercial project although I certainly do not anticipate selling very many copies or making vast sums of money!

Let me know if that would be possible

All the best Melissa Westwind (M.A. (hons), M.St.)

June 23rd 2013

Dear Mr Sandles,

I am a journalist working within the air conditioning and refrigeration industry (yes, really!) and have been interested to learn of the Dartmoor Ice Factory and James Henderson’s battle against the vagaries of our climate to create a business from the landscape. A romantic story and one that was also always doomed to eventual failure with the development of mechanical refrigeration.

I was wondering whether I could pick your brains and undoubted knowledge of the history of Dartmoor for a project I am looking to put together about the Ice Factory. I would also be intrigued to know whether you are aware of any photographs, illustrations or other archive material from when the ice factory was operating?

Anyway, would be good to hear back from you.

Regards, Neil Everitt

June 23rd 2013


Let me introduce myself before asking a question about Teignhead Farm. It is clear from your website, that “you are the man”.

I was born and grew up in England until I emigrated to Canada in 1970 and started working in the oil industry. I’m now past retirement age, but still working (currently in Vietnam), because I enjoy what I do and the money is good!

It’s a Sunday afternoon here and I was doing some searching on the Internet, reminiscing about places I know on Dartmoor. In 1962, I went to a Scout summer camp at Yeo Farm, Chagford and had my first introduction to Dartmoor. I remember a night ‘wide game’ with torches on Kes Tor. Great fun. I’m sure Health and Safety wouldn’t allow that these days!

The following year with the Senior Scouts, we did a one-week hike on the moor, with minimal equipment and carrying all our food. Our Scout master was an ex-commando and believed that Senior Scouts should be treated like Marine recruits. We thought it was great, but the parents forced him out. They thought he was too militaristic!

During the week, in miserable weather, we chose to stay one-night in Teignhead Farm to get out of the rain. I vividly remember it had walls and a roof and a flagstone floor, which was very uncomfortable to sleep on. So I was very surprised when I looked it up on to see that it was now a pile of stones. Do you know what happened to it?

A further question. I’m a private pilot and I frequent a site called There is a recent post by someone looking for information about two Westland Whirlwinds (twin-engined fighters, not the more modern helicopters) that reputedly crashed in Fox Tor Mires in 1940:

There have been a few responses, including one from me (as India Four Two), but no definitive information. Do you know anything about this or do you have any contacts that might know something?

Regards, Simon Youens

To the best of my knowledge the Duchy demolished the farmhouse early in 1971 by which time it was in a dire state of disrepair. The ruins are still used as a popular campsite by many people although obviously the farmhouse does little towards providing shelter.

June 22nd 2013

I just came across your website and think it is beautiful!

Regards, Sheilagh Stones

June 21st 2013

Dear Tim,

On your website you mention a German reconnaissance plane crashing at Holne Moor in 1942, do you have any more details about this aircraft. For instance was it an ME109, and the crash date 7 January 1942.

I look forward to receiving your reply.

Yours faithfully, Steve.

June 20th 2013

I have been reading with interest your website on crash sites. You may be interested in reading a bit more of what led up to the tragedy. If you are I will be happy to email to you a link

Hameldown Tor certainly took its toll of victims as revealed in your item. I wonder if the deterrent tall poles had any part in the tragedies as well as bad weather. My interest focuses on the Hampden crash of 23 – 24 March 1941. The pilot was Hon. Richard David Wilson, buried in Exeter’s Higher Cemetery. By the way, I wonder what was that US Fortress doing on Christmas Day 1943 – a genuine operational flight; with an RAF man aboard??

Looking forward to hearing from you one way or the other.

Regards, Lawrence Bovey, Exeter.

June 19th 2013

I am currently building a website for my photographs, which are taken in woodlands and Moorland over Dartmoor and the south of Devon.

This brings me to the reason of contacting you. I was wondering if you would mind if I could add a link to the site for Legendary Dartmoor’s Facebook page and web site. Mainly to provide everyone who visits my site with information they may be interested for study or if planning a holiday in Devon.

I believe that out of all of the Dartmoor sites out their to view Legendary Dartmoor is the most complimenting site for my site. I look forward in receiving your reply.

Kind regards Rob Baldwin

June 18th 2013


I don’t know if I ever thanked you, but you were a great help in making our holiday to Devon County and surrounds a wonderful one last September. We had booked ourselves for a few days at the Mill End Hotel just outside of Chagford, and as it happened, the Mill End was directly adjacent to the Rushford Mill Farm and Rushford Barton was just up the road a bit. I will tell you it nearly gave Cheri and me the shivers to stand on the very land my direct ancestor, Robertus Hore lived and died on in the 1300s.

We toured around Dartmoor, in general, and only wished we had more time. I retire at the end of this year, and Cheri and I hope to do much more travelling after that, so perhaps we’ll get back to Dartmoor in the not-too-distant future.

Thanks for your brilliant web site, and for your personal help.

Dave (& Cheri) Hoard

June 10th 2013

Dear Tim,

Your section on Jolly Lane Cott contains an error which I am sure you would wish to correct. Sally Satterly’s father was named Peter Hannaford as per the record in the Lydford Church Registry relating to her wedding (20.9.1841) This gives her father as Peter Hannaford of ‘Pit Cott’. Her baptism record from the Walkhampton Register gives ’10th July 1814 – Sarah, daughter of Peter and Martha Hannaford of Kingshead Parish, Walkhampton’. My findings are taken from church records which must surely be the ultimate proof.

Janet Palmer.

Many thanks, I have amended the page

May 29th 2013

Hi Tim

I hope you don’t mind me getting in touch. My name is Natasha and I for a TV company called Outline Productions. We are currently working on a new Health show focusing on interesting or unusual home remedies. I found your website, Legendary Dartmoor, and saw a post about home remedies for warts. I noticed that you mentioned using duct tape as one remedy – is this something that you’ve tried? Do you know anyone who’s tried it?

I would also be really interested to know of any other home remedies that you have used for other ailments. It would be great to speak with you about this if you have the chance?

Thanks Tim. It would be great to chat. Best wishes Natasha

May 23rd 2013

Hi Tim,

Just a little note by a tourist from The Netherlands. Me and my girlfriend visited Dartmoor almost 4 years ago and fell in love with it immediately. At this moment we are visiting Dartmoor again, but now I visited your website several times. And you know what? Because all your information our short break is even better than before. We love the stories about the devil in Dartmoor, the stories about the pixies, ghosts and ‘strange’ people, the tors and other stones, churches and so on … I even found the Saxon well in Widecombe in the Moor 🙂

Thanks, Frits Stegen

Thanks for your email and kind comments, I am glad my website was of use whilst visiting Dartmoor.

May 15th 2012

Hello Tim, it has been many years since we met out letterboxing but I must say your web site is very informative, keep up the good work. Under your Wells and Springs you list Wapsworthy Wells as SX 5520 8822 which puts it in Tiger’s Marsh. (I remember spending 3 days searching for the first letterbox to be put out there with Brian Lavis i.e:- Eggbuckland Fish & Chips).

I am wondering if this is a mistake by Mike Brown that has been copied by others as I can not find any mention of this at Tigers Marsh. Crossing’s Guide p169 puts it above Longbetor and looking at Google Earth I would think the best site would be around SX 5405 7933 N 50°35.729 W 004°03.803 I would like to know what you think about this.

Wishing you all the best, Bob Davy Davy of the Moors Letterbox Club Member No 15

I went to the bar first when Godfrey was giving out the numbers, I got my priorities wrong and I could have had a lower number. lol.

Thanks for your email and for pointing out the error. Clearly from reading both Crossing and Hemery Wapsworthy Wells are certainly in the area which you indicate although there is some contradiction between their two accounts. Hemery insists on referring to the Wapsworthy Brook as the Yoledon Brook and normally the Dartmoor wells are located around their source which would place them below Longbetor? The problem here is that there are so many springs in the vicinity it would be hard to pinpoint which one is Wapsworthy Wells. The only possible way of perhaps solving the question would be from an old farm/tithe map. Either way I will amend my webpage and thanks for pointing out the error.

May 13th 2013

Hello there

I have just been browsing your great website and would like to ask if Bovey Community Garden

( ) can be added to your site in the ‘links section. Our site has a ‘link’ section also and I am happy to reciprocate with your details on our site.

Our garden is situated on Parke Estate, near Bovey Tracey, within the walls of the old Victorian garden, it is now commencing its fifth successful year. Local people can come and garden together and in return for their work earn a portion of the produce grown; hence we now supply many families in the local area with some freshly produced vegetables. Do take a peep at our site and do some armchair gardening.

Many thanks, Gail Banham

May 6th 3013

Hello, I have a small watercolour similar to the ones on your site by R.D.Sherrin. but it is mislabeled in pencil as ‘The Moors Near Tavy Cleave Exmoor”. I believe Tavy Cleave is on Dartmoor. It is signed with the initials R D S. Are you aware if R.D. Sherrin sometimes signed with initials. Any information would be appreciated.

Regards M.Hardisty.

One thing for sure is that Tavy Cleeve is on Dartmoor not Exmoor, as to the signature I am afraid I have no idea. The only thing that’s weird is that if your watercolour is by Sherrin and the writing is original he would have certainly known that Tavy Cleeve was on Dartmoor???

April 17th 2013

Hi, My name is steve peck and I want to walk the Dartmoor Perambulation route and I have registered with cancer research uk to raise money for them. I have a personal interest in cancer as my mum has cancer. I am setting up a sponsorship page via Facebook and also twitter and I was wondering if you would allow me to put a link on my sponsorship pages to your site /peram_bulat.htm? So as people can read about the walk. I am also wondering if you would have or be able to supply me with a route which was/has been used before? either as an electronic gpx file or paper file? I have taken the grid references from your sight and noted them and can plan the route between them myself but I did wonder if there was one already available?

I have only been walking for 12 months on weekends normally across Dartmoor or coastal paths with a small back pack covering on average 12-15 miles. I am planning to do the perambulation walk over 3 days with two nights camping in the beginning of august. It will be a challenge for me and I have started training on the moors with everything i need for the walk.

Any information or help you are able to give me will be gratefully excepted. Many thanks for taking the time to read this.

Best wishes Steve Peck.

April 2nd 2013

Hi Tim,

I notice that you make no mention of the Cist at Whitehorse Hill having been rebuilt. I was up there today and took these photos which you are free to use if you wish (although a mention would be appreciated).

Kind regards, Dave Martin, The Cherrybrook

Many thanks for the photos one of which has been added to the Whitehorse Hill Kist page.

March 27th 2013


I make handmade beaded jewellery and bookmarks and various other beaded items, have started doing beaded hair slides and tiaras too, and have also started doing wooden plaques, macramé plant hangers, macramé owls, painted plant pots, sweet bags, and am also looking to branch out into other things. I am always looking for outlets where I can sell same, and would be interested to receive any information about your Fair that you are able to provide me with.

I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience, and thank you in advance for your help.

Kind regards, Jo-Anne Blackmore

March 23rd 2013


I’m really fascinated to read your saffron-glazed simnel cake recipe on your Dartmoor website because I actually grow saffron! Do you have a date for the recipe at all? I’m just wondering how old it is.

Best wishes,

Dr Sally Francis

March 7th 2013

Hi Just wanted to say I love the site.

I am originally from Kingsteignton but moved to Alberta Canada with my wife and two young boys seven years ago. We have awesome views of the Rocky Mountains and absolutely love it here but still like my Dartmoor fix. We actually returned to the UK at Christmas and visited Dartmoor (we always try and get there when we return to the UK from time to time).

A little story……My youngest son had to do a presentation at school about something foreign to Canada so I gave him a lucky Pisky charm to take into the school. We have had good luck ever since I handled the charm……The local coffee shop has prizes on their cups to be won…I had won nothing for weeks then the day after handling the charm I won 3 free coffees in a row. The same day my wife won two draw prizes at work!!! The charm is working well…..(better buy some lottery tickets) My eldest son is a Ice Hockey Goalie and is about to start the playoffs……he wants to wear the charm during the games……LOL.

Keep up the good work.

Eddie Parry (Alberta Canada)

March 1st 2013
Dear Tim,
Nice to talk to you first time, just had a look at your American cemetery article, I would like to add a few comments if I may.
Did you know I researched the General Entry Books of Dartmoor Prison which I hold in my personal files, this of course lists all 6553 American prisoners of war, I have held this for more than 30 years.
For that length of time I have researched for literally hundreds of Americans to find there ancestors held at Dartmoor Prison. I have done his for the 30 years I was the official historian appointed by the home office, In conjunction with some US Navy boys, I supplied them with all the list of dead at Dartmoor Prison. My list is now on the 2 Memorial stones at Dartmoor American cemetery In 1980 I applied to the American authorities responsible for all American dead in Cambridge England for their list of Americans who died at Dartmoor. They kindly let me have their list of 218 which they assured me was correct, I went to America tracing returned American prisoners from Dartmoor and found several.
One of my friends I was staying with assured me their ancestor died at Dartmoor Prison during the War of 1812, so looking at the Cambridge list of 218 men who died at Dartmoor, he was not on the list. Now I was worried, let us see , the window at Princetown St Michaels, supplied in 1910 by my friends the US Daughters of 1812 states 218, the American Cemetery arch supplied by the Daughters in 1928 also states 218, also 218 by the American Authorities so it must be correct wouldn’t you think?. Since my friends in America ancestor was not on the list of 218 I applied and purchased my General Entry Books microfiches, and yes he was on the list. After careful study I found 271 Americans who died at Dartmoor, all I had to do was just look at my microfiches and their they were, all in front of me.
Back to the US Navy boys, they kindly rewarded me with a tablet supplied by the US Petty Officers , and Commander Hankin US Navy gave me his personal medal for all I did. The US Daughters of 1812 who I have been close friends for 30 years gave me their Spirit of 1812 medal, these are numbered and I am proud to say mine is number 1.
Sorry to boor you but I like clean accurate records, sorry about my poor typing , but I am now 82 and the keys on my typewriter keep moving around. Best of luck in all you do.
My best Wishes Ron Joy
Many thanks for this information Ron, it certainly helps explain the discrepancies in the numbers.

February 26th 2013
Dear Sir/ Madam,
My wife and I visited Dartmoor for 3 days last week and while walking near Fernworthy Reservoir, came across this paw print (photo attached). It caused much consternation and debate and not a little fright! We have scoured the internet in order to try to identify and think we have the answer but I would really like an expert view. The precise location was on a track running through a conifer plantation on the North side of the reservoir, shortly after leaving the dam heading in a westerly direction. The print measured 5 to 6 inches across; we couldn’t see many other clear prints although other walkers appear to have stopped judging from various boot prints. I have no idea how old the print was. I would be extremely interested to have an informed opinion! – see HERE for photograph.
Yours sincerely, Malcolm Amiss.
Thanks for your email and photos, firstly I must say I am by no means an expert in identifying exotic animal tracks but in my view first impressions would suggest a large animal of some kind. But on further inspection, whilst big cats such as a Puma leave no claw marks the toes in your photo seem far too long and narrow when compared to their rounded shape. To some degree the print does resemble that of a child’s hand???? There is also a distinct ‘V’ shape to the rear pad which again in large cats is more rounded. But as previously mentioned, I am no expert so you could try contacting the ‘British Big Cats Society for expert opinion.

February 21st 2013
My grandmother has told me lots of the same stories about cures and folk tales and that sort of thing that you have on your site. She was Irish, a Collins. I was curious as to how close Ireland is to Dartmoor since the stories are so very much alike. I am not certain where her family was from as they came to the US around 1860. Your site is wonderful! Thank you!
Sincerely, Sharon Bolt
In answer to your question, Ireland is a fair distance from Dartmoor but there were quite a few Irish men who came across to work in the mines etc, some of whom brought their families with them. This could explain the similarities in the various stories etc.
February 19th 2013
Hi, I’m looking buy few Dartmoor sheep. I live in PA USA, do you know of any location in US that sell Dartmoor sheep?
Thanks for your help.
Sorry I don’t know of anyone selling Dartmoor sheep in the USA but if you contact the Dartmoor Sheep Breeders Association they might be able to help you.
February 15th 2013
Good Morning Tim,
I was wondering if you have any information on the whereabouts of a hill on Dartmoor once known as Meatus Hill?
With regards, David MF Abel
Sorry but I have never come across that one, I have checked my data base and it’s not there (which doesn’t mean a lot), can you give me some idea of location or context? Maybe it’s a name that has appeared in some fictional work?

February 13th 2013
On your website Dartmoor novels by Eden Phillpotts you have his 18th novel as ‘Children of the Mist’, 1923, it should read ‘Children of Men’ 1923. You have an excellent website.
Bob Rochester, NY.
Many thanks for pointing this out, it has been duly amended.

January 26th 2013
I’m a film maker in Plymouth that would love to make a documentary on Dartmoor myths and sightings. Was wondering if you knew anybody that has experienced/seen anything on Dartmoor that I could interview or any other information I could use. Thanks for your time I think this could make for an interesting documentary.
Thank you, Adam
Thanks for your email, sadly I can’t think of anyone off hand who may be of use with your project, people tend to clam up when it comes to such things. I will however post your email on my website and perhaps somebody may come forward.

January 25th 2013
Hi Tim
To be honest, it seems to me that some kind of Taoist ritual has been done there. Dartmoor ancient monuments do have the landscape-orientated design that Feng Shui practitioners use. It seems that the graffiti is recent according to you (from the 90’s), which coincides with the devolution of Hong Kong to China. Also, the Japanese tourists have not been pleased with it. So, it is very possible that someone from Hong Kong has decided to draw the ancient power of the British Isles to China. If when you stand in the menhir you can see 8 hills around it, it is VERY likely to be the case – this will confirm the 8 directions as per the ba-gua. Hills in Chinese folk systems and even in Taoism are considered to be dragons. Coincidence or not, China has shown an impressive growth in the period, and Hong Kong and Shanghai are the power engines of this growth – and these cities were the British domains in China.
Anyway, in my opinion it should be removed. I really HATE desecrations, and I have been to Dartmoor and simply LOVED it. And for this I must thank you, your website was a precious resource. I have not been to Drizzlecombe, but to Merrivale, and when standing near the stone circle, one can definitely see that the circle was a reproduction of the hills around it. I am an enthusiast of megaliths and have been studying the ancient landscapes in Britain for years now. Through this study, I found out many weird things such as the one I am talking above. I DO NOT support any kind of abuse of religious structures, either active or ancient. To me it is a massive lack of respect with everything – with the land, the faith, the people who built it and their systems of beliefs. And Dartmoor apparently, due to its lack of people, has been used (or should I say abused) by all kinds of weird people with obscure intentions. Dartmoor deserves respect. It would be worth it to have a serious (and I mean SERIOUS – with proven experience) Feng Shui specialist opinion on the issue. Remember, all these practices only reflect the intentions of the ones that perform them. And bad intentions can be really destructive.
Thank you for keeping such a wonderful website.

January 24th 2012
I was looking at your page on Drizzlecombe Enigma – the Chinese characters if as you wrote really mean Kowloon, then this means apparently “Nine Dragons”. The name Kowloon stems from the nine dragons, a term which refers to eight mountains and a Chinese emperor: Kowloon Peak, Tung Shan, Tate’s Cairn, Temple Hill, Unicorn Ridge, Lion Rock, Beacon Hill, Crow’s Nest and Emperor Bing (Song Dynasty).[2] Source: Wikipedia
Maybe some Chinese visitor from Kowloon found the landscape similar….
Silvia – sent from my iPad

January 23rd 2012
Hi Tim,
Just reading my July 12th 1939 Daily Express, yes it does take me a while to catch up on the news I see we are due to go into a second world war in a couple of months. Just reading an article reporting a bomber crash on Lower White Tor which was buried by the RAF If you haven’t got this one I can email a photocopy to you.
Best regards Ted
Many thanks Ted, for the updated webpage see – HERE

January 22nd 2013
Thank you for reply. There was no need to be sarcastic, web site not a lot of use.
P Ayers

January 21st 2013
Dear Sir,
I sent you an e-mail on the 29th of December, it is now the 21st of January. Can I expect an answer sometime?
P Ayres
Amazingly I have other priorities in life apart from answering queries about tinned hog’s pudding from the website, however I have managed to find one source that may be able to help you, the link is – HERE

January 15th 2013
Dear Tim,
I came across your site whilst researching the medal that is hopefully attached to this e-mail. Clearly it has a Dartmoor connection and everything points to the man on the front being Jonas Coaker. I just wondered if you could shed any more light on the medal or if you had ever seen one before. Also impressed around the rim is, Upton and Hussey 22 St James St. I have not been able to trace this company as yet. The ribbon is similar to the militia long service ribbon but I am not sure why the clasps are there unless they were the locations of various camps. Possibly this was presented to him by the soldiers when he visited them in 1873. My main hobby is WW1, Devonshire Regiment and medals to the men that served during that time. My parents live close to Hatherleigh so I am often down visiting. Any help would be greatly appreciated, and may I add, an excellent site,
Many thanks, Gary Rennles
Thanks for the email, firstly I can confirm that the clasps on the medal do refer to the various camps used the 1873 manoeuvres and I would suggest that the picture of the tent and rain alludes to the disastrous weather conditions that accompanied the event. As to the portrait being Jonas Coker sadly I have no idea, admittedly there is some similarity to the few photographs of him that do exist but whether it is him I wouldn’t like to say.
There are numerous reports of the manoeuvres which can be found in back copies of The Times for 1873 but none give mention or description on the medal.
Should I ever come across anymore on the subject I will let you know, I will also put you questions on the website and see if anyone else can assist.

January 4th 2013

Dear Mr Sandles,

We, the Chagford Commoners Association are having an open meeting on Saturday 5th January in the Jubilee Hall at Chagford from 10.00am until 2.30pm.

Please may we display your written piece from the Legendary Dartmoor website titled the War of the Three Grids.

As you are most probably aware, the battle still rumbles on, the ponies are still on the main roads, in Chagford and in Bovey Castle grounds. If you are in the area on the day of the meeting it would be a delight to meet you.

Regards Ann WIllcocks Secretary, Chagford Commoners HLS Committee

January 3rd 2013

Hello, A couple of months ago I started a local history website for Ashburton, and I wondered if you might consider putting a link to it from Legendary Dartmoor ? I don’t have a links page as such on my own site, but I have put your website address on my page covering the Ashburton Rabbit Pie (under the Ashburton in Peril tab). I wanted to put something about the notorious pie, but have tried not to encroach on your information. My website is Old Ashburton – HERE

With many thanks, Cheers, Anne (Bligh)

Consider it done 🙂

January 2nd 2013

Dear Tim,

Love the web site……great for research. On your tor list page is the Rough Tor (Burrator) grid ref correct? SX 5473 6855 or is the 4 and 7 transposed ? (SX 5743 6855)

Many Thanks, Steve Grigg

Sorry, Steve, lost me on this one, the page gives SX5790 6850 ?

December 30th 2012

Sir, Is tinned hogs pudding available anywhere? and if so where? as I developed a taste for nit when I lived in Portgate, and now that I live in France I miss it.

Thank you P Ayers

December 13th 2012

My granddad is sitting in his apartment telling me about all his pictures and paintings and he has one he loves by C. E. Brittan of two spaniels with a small waterfall behind them with trees around and in a small body of water. He got this picture from my great grandparents we were trying to find information about it online but can’t find this picture specifically. We are wondering if you have any information about this specific painting. Thank you.

December 12th 2012

Tim, You have no idea how much easier you have just made my life. I especially thank you for the map will help me a great deal. I hope you won’t mind if I email you again in the future as this will be and on going project even after my work is handed in as i find the subject of myths and legend fascinating and the country around Dartmoor a brilliant starting point for any and all pieces. Could you also point me towards the title of the film you mentioned as it would help my inspiration to no end. Also on the subject of Chaw Gully is it easy to get into or don’t you know? I am an experienced rock climber, it would be amazing if it is easy to get into as well as look at from the edges.

Thanks again Robert

December 11th 2012

Dear Tim Sandles (I do hope this is who I am contacting), My name is Robert Garrow and I’m a writer currently working on my dissertation at Winchester University. I am looking to write a semi-fictional piece based around not only the beauty and intrigue of Dartmoor but also its legends and folklore. Sadly there is only so much books and websites such as yours can tell me. I am not looking for an interview or anything, though on with a man with your knowledge of the area and its stories would be invaluable to my work, I am just hoping for a little extra knowledge than your website provides. I will of course understand completely if you object, but it would be greatly appreciated if you would help me. All i am asking is for one or more locations of interest and atmosphere that would provide a setting for my piece. Please get back to me as soon as you have the time as I have a deadline and it’s nearly upon me. Thank you for your time

Sincerely Robert Garrow

December 4th 2012

Hi Tom,

I have been using your site for research on the legends & myths of Dartmoor for my book – Cursed. I just wanted to let you know that this is being published soon and I have mentioned you in my acknowledgments with a link to your site!

I have used the information from your site and changed it into my own words. I have kept 1 or 2 sentences where you phrased it better. If you would like to read the story or would rather I took the above sentence/s out please let me know.

Thanks, Georgina Hannan

December 3rd 2012

Hi, I have read bout a recent excavation at Bellever. Is it possible to go and see it now?

Regards Teresa

No idea, sorry.

November 28th 2012

Good Evening – I thought I would email you to say that I am researching the History of Plymouth Cricket Club. Charles Brittan was Captain of the Club between 1899 and 1901 and was a fine player judging by his scores – he played for Yelverton after the Club’s demise. Do you have any photographs or know of anyone that does?

Best wishes, Phil Barrow

No, sorry.

November 28th 2012

I have an old postcard (posted Torquay in 1929) which shows a clapper bridge but the place name is not legible. I wonder if you can identify it for me. Photo attached.

Eileen Procter

It’s Dartmeet Clapper

November 22nd 2012


I was out letterboxing with Terry Bound yesterday, 21/11/2012 when we came across a substantial deposit of “Star Jelly” on Wittaburrow, SX73344 75286. It was on a piece of ground that had been “swaled” probably at least 2 years ago. The weather was sunny but the ground was sodden after Tuesday night’s rain.

I have to say that it looks identical to an Algae that grows in my garden in France in the Autumn after dry conditions followed by heavy rain. Only difference is the garden Algae is dayglo green not white. Some authorities say it is one of the blue-green algae but the RHS says this about it.

“Algae-like growths: Dark green or blackish jelly-like growths that often appear in damper, cooler weather over the surface of the lawn, making it slippery are caused by a cyanobacteria called Nostoc. These are sometimes referred to as gelatinous algae or blue-green algae but are technically classified under bacteria, not algae”.

Sorry camera was at home.

Roger Davies

Many thanks for the information which I have entered on the webpage, already it’s becoming obvious that occurences are widespread across the moor.

November 17th 2012

Found today in a village outside Launceston, thought it might interest you. – Tavistock Penny, see HERE

Regards Jay

Nice find, thanks for sharing it.

November 10th 2012

Dear Sir,

Let me introduce myself, my name is Bob Scott Veteran of the Royal Berkshire Regiment 49th of Foot descendant Regiment of Guernsey Man General Sir Isaac Brock, Hero of Upper Canada war of 1812 / 15. The past eighteen months I have been involved in researching the Regimental History on behalf of our Regimental Museum in Salisbury, this has meant a lot of contact with Canada, as a result of the recent Highlighting of Canada’s National Heroes of that period it was said to me in an off the cuff remark, we still have two years to go! Where do we go from here? So the worm has turned, when I came up with the Idea Brother’s in Arms, the stories of lesser known Heroes and Heroines of that period to which my Canadian friend responsible for bringing the Australian Artefacts of General Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe to Canada, was immediately taken with my Idea and asked If I would look into UK stories of the period. Given a lead into Betsy Doyle whose Husband spent his time in Dartmoor being taken prisoner at the Battle of Queenston Heights Oct 13th 1812. If you can help me with this story of the time or any other connected stories, would be most grateful.

Kindest Regards Bob.

Thanks for the email, I don’t think I can help you with this one, but I know of a man who maybe can, he was the prison’s official historian and can be contacted at this email address.

November 5th 2012

Dear Tim,

Just a word to say I really like your website. I’ve been doing a bit of research around the Meavy Oak, which I’m planning to include in a book on The British Oak (TBP next year). I wonder if you’d be agreeable to me using some of the info. on your site…with due acknowledgement of course to your site & the sources quoted. I am intrigued by the idea of dancing trees & wonder if you have come across any other accounts of these events in Devon oak trees. Whitlock mentions dancing trees at Dunsford, Lifton, Trebursey [oaks?] & the elm at Moretonhampstead. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was possible to track down an early engraving of this!!

Look forward to hearing from you. Best regards, Archie Miles

Thanks for the email, no problem with you using any information on my website. I know that the Meavy Oak was another Dartmoor ‘Dancing Tree’ and I don’t know if you have heard but all traces of the one at Moretonhampstead have now gone. Also, I am sure I have seen an early drawing of a dancing tree but at the moment can’t remember where, if I find it again I will send it over to you.

November 4th 2012

Dear Tim,

My name is Nicholas White – I am a photography student currently in the final year of my degree at Plymouth College of Art, and living in Okehampton.

For the past year I have focussed my photographic work on Dartmoor’s military history. I feel it is a vastly undocumented yet important aspect of the National Park, and adds an extra layer to the complex narrative that makes Dartmoor what it is.

The project is divided into numerous different “chapters”. Chapter 1 was completed earlier this year, and is entitled “The Camp”, and is a photographic study of Okehampton Battle Camp – essentially the home of Dartmoor training.

Working closely with Dartmoor Training and LandMarc, I was given permission to enter the camp and have (almost) unlimited access to not only the camp itself (away from the footpath that cuts through it) but also to the interiors of most of the buildings. I visited the camp most days over a 2 month period, shooting on colour film – working my way through every part of the camp in an attempt to give the viewer a “sneak peak” into this immensely important, yet unexplored space. I was also lucky enough to obtain hi-resolution copies of the original architects drawings from when the camp was designed, from the National Archives.

The completed project can be found on my website, at the following link: – HERE. I hope you enjoy the work; and perhaps could find a place for it on your immensely informative website. I am currently working on the next chapter, exploring the three danger areas; Willsworthy, Merrivale and Okehampton – documenting the structures and the landscape itself.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Regards. Nicholas White

Thanks for you email and link to your project, there certainly are some excellent photos that most people would not normally get to see and therefore I have put a link on my visitors page. Perhaps you would be good enough to let me know when you have completed your next chapter and I’ll link that up too.
October 22nd 2012

Hi Tim, Just a quick email to let you know that I have seen several dollops of star jelly / pixie snot on the moor over the last few weeks. I have been aware of this stuff for several years and have always been intrigued as to what on earth (or not of this earth) it is. There certainly seems to be a proliferation at the moment (October). I have a few photos if you want them. I am sure that the “fresher” it is, the more clear and see through it is, becoming whiter and opaque with age. One lot I saw last week near Shell Top seemed to be closely associated with whitish entrail-like stuff, yuck! If you need details such as date and place then let me know and I’ll do my best to record where and when.

Best wishes, Liz.

Thanks for your information, any records would be really helpful, it would be good to collect some data to see when, where and why this stuff is occurring. I have had one suggestion that the recent crop is due to the recent visit of that meteor – real woo, woo stuff.

October 14th 2012

Dear Tim,

I recently read an article about Bradmere (or Bradford) pool on your website. I am currently a student at peninsula dental school, but also a keen fishermen. Do you have any information about the fishing rights for Bradmere or a possible contact? I’m intrigued by this venue and wonder if it still lives up to the great reputation it once had amongst the fishing community. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve had similar emails in the past, but i thought it was worth a try, if nothing else thanks for the informative website.

Kind regards, Chris Doy

October 1st 2012

Dear Mr Sandles,

I am currently researching the legends and folklore of Dartmoor. Specifically those associated with the stone circles and other ancient monuments, I have discovered both William Crossing and Ruth St.Leger-Gordon through your website. Would you be able to suggest any other useful authors on this topic?

Regards, Edward Price.

Some other authors you may like to try are; Eliza Bray, Sabine Baring Gould, J. R. Coxhead, Eden Phillpotts, and various issues of the Devonshire Association Transactions.

September 30th 2012


Since I am currently bothering you, could I have one last question? Could you have a look at the attached picture and maybe identify the pond and the tors?

All I can tell you is that the artist was a French lady who stayed with Mrs and Miss Weeks, who lived next door to George and Elfrida in Princetown. She gave the picture (which does look better in the original) to my father, who used to help her carry her gear out onto the moor when he stayed with his grandparents.

Regards, Jerry Mortimore.

To me the painting seems to be an imaginary landscape with a montage of various Dartmoor features. The hill middle right looks like Merrivale quarry, and I have never seen a ridge with that many tors on it. I will put the paining up on the website and my Dartmoor facebook page and see if any other suggestions come in. To see the picture click – HERE

September 30th 2012.

Fantastic Website, I keep having to mention you in my Cornwall and Devon photo journal, ( I have donated!) If there are any photos that I have taken that would be of any use in your pages, I would be thrilled to send you a copy for use in your site. I would not expect paying for this as I feel I get so much enjoyment from your hard work, and would like to help if I can. Thanks to your entertaining pages, I love being able to be an ‘authority’ on Dartmoor tales with my visitors even though I hail from Yorkshire, another great moorland area.

Best wishes Lesley.

Many, many thanks for your kind donation and offer of your photographs which are stunning. Secondly I have included a link to your blog so as people can see your amazing artwork.

September 29th 2012


Many thanks. Can’t think of any connection so far between George’s family and Sheepstor village but you never know, may lead to something. George was one of six siblings His father married an Agnes Dart who already had three little Darts even though she was a spinster so could be a Dart connection. Have you heard of any films that included scenes in the Duchy Hotel? There is a family story that something was filmed there and that George appeared in it doing his head waiter bit. The story was that it was the 39 Steps but it couldn’t have been that.

Regards, Jerry Mortimore

September 29th 2012.


Wonder if you could identify a cross for me? Photo attached is from the family archive. Gent on the left and the lady to his left are my great-grandparents, George and Elfrida Mortimore and the lady on the left is their adopted daughter Rose. If I knew where it was I could maybe identify the other couple.

The family came from Coldridge and before that from Sandford but this picture looks a bit more like Dartmoor. George Mortimore was the head waiter at the Duchy Hotel and was later butler to Sir Courtney Bennett at Archerton House near Postbridge.

Regards, and thanks for an interesting website. Jerry Mortimore

No problem, it’s the Sheepstor village cross that stands just outside the entrance to the church. I have attached one of my photos of the cross for you to compare.

September 29th 2012

Good morning,

I’ve recently watched a film A Night In The Woods 2011. Where strange happenings goes on with three people two males and one female but are never found. Do you know if there is any truth behind this

Thanks Luke

Despite the fact that over the centuries there are many stories of weird and wonderful thing happening in Wistman’s Wood I think this one is a work of pure fiction.

September 25th 2012


As I work in the Old Duchy Hotel for the Dartmoor National Park Authority your details regarding early records has naturally intrigued me. In the transcriptions for Lydford Parish baptisms for 30 October 1829 we find. Ann born to John and Mary Paige ,address given, Duchy Hotel Prince Town.

Regards, Neil Handley.

Many thanks for your email and information. This is yet another piece of evidence that the Duchy Hotel was in existence way before the day mentioned in ‘The Book of Princetown’. I just wish I could find an exact date.

September 13th 2012.

Hi Tim

I was looking at your leats page the other day and found that there is an error that is quite important. I know a bit about these leats because I run the DPA Conservation Team that clears the leats for the Commoners on Roborough Common.

There are two separate leats …

  1. Drake’s Leat into Plymouth, opened 1591 in the reign of Elizabeth I, taking off from the River Meavy, now under Burrator Reservoir, and ending at the Drake Reservoir just up the hill from Plymouth University. Was 18.5 miles, now all dry or lost under farmland and city development. The dry leat is seen as you drive from Dousland and turn onto the Burrator road. You can also see it at Clearbrook where it runs across Roborough Common.
  2. Devonport Leat into Devonport, opened 1801 in the reign of George III, (because Plymouth wouldn’t share their water and Plymouth Dock, which became named Devonport in 1823) was growing apace. Originally 28 miles long, now 17 miles because it empties into Burrator Reservoir via the waterfall and the plughole to Dousland Waterworks. Take-off points – the West Dart, Cowsic and Blackabrook rivers just north of Two Bridges. It finished somewhere in Moricetown, Devonport, near the Torpoint ferry.

Cheers – Keith

Whoa, I know I often get things wrong but this must have been after a visit from the ‘Tavistock Badger‘ – thanks Keith for putting me right.

September 13th 2012

Dear Tim,

I found your site to be very informative about the history of Dartmoor’s Moors, whilst reading through the site I noticed what you where saying about Vixen Tor being off limits to the public, but wondered if you where aware that Vixen Tor Farm is actually being advertised as available to rent on the following website –

3.9 miles E of Tavistock | Sleeps 10 + cottage | Price Band S (£603 – £1728)

Regards, Scott.

September 12th 2012

Dear Mr Sandles,

We are from Ardingly College in West Sussex, and in October we will be carrying out a gold D of E expedition in Dartmoor, and we have visited your website and read your article online about the letterboxes and have decided to go with Dartmoor letterboxes as an interesting focal point to our project. We were wondering if you could give us any further or helpful information about these letter boxes and their locations as we are only there for three days and we would like to see as many as possible, many thanks in advance.

Emma, Ellie and the Ardingly D of E team.

September 12th 2012

Dear Tim,

Sorry for my late reply, thank you so much for your help. I think you are absolutely right having looked at some views of Tavy Cleeve. I’ve found inscribed on the other. “Belstone” ? anyway, thank you Tim’

Best wishes, Karen. p.s. I’ve read your “Legendary Dartmoor”, great, didn’t realise was you !

September 7th 2012
Dear Mr Sandles

The DTRG are the rightful copyright owners of the map that you have downloaded and slightly altered on your Crockern Tor page. We would like an acknowledgement that you have copied our map that was depicting tinners’ huts on Dartmoor please. One of our members drew that map and we have the original copy if ever we need to prove the above point.

We look forward to an acknowledgement being placed on the map you have copied from our groups’ website – thank you.

Kindest regards, DTRG Chairman.

Dear DTRG Chairman?, Thank you for your email, I do apologise for infringing your map’s copyright. However, I will not be acknowledging the map as it is easier just to replace it with another one that does not infringe your copyright. That is unless you are claiming copyright to the Dartmoor National Park boundary and the boundaries of the four stannary districts?

Kindest regards, Legendary Dartmoor Website Chairman.

September 7th 2012

Hi There

May I firstly say I love your website. Just wanted to ask a question. In the waterfalls section you refer to Broada Falls. On the OS Map it is called Broad falls. Which is correct?

Many thanks Neil.

Thanks for your email, for once the OS map is right – a typo, many thanks for pointing it out, duly amended.

August 26th 2012

Hi, after looking at your website I wondered if you can help me with information regarding Mary Tavy and Wheal Betsy in particular. I am researching my family ancestry and it turns out my great great grandparents moved up to Cumberland in the late 1800’s from the Mary Tavy area after work dried up in the mines down there. I have visited the places i know about but could not find any record of the houses they lived in, in particular “Scotland Row” which was meant to be relatively close to the mine itself. My great great grandparents name was Stephens and I believe the generation before lived in Horndon. Any info you have regarding this would be much appreciated.

Best regards, Mrs L Curley.

August 24th 2012

Hi Tim,

Love your website!

On the page “The Well and The Rock”, the second photo is labelled “The original well”. I’m wondering if there is any evidence for the accuracy of that, as the photo is of the “lion’s mouth” fountain/well that is way up the Skaigh valley in the woods by the sharp bend in the road by Skaigh Stables. The fountain is still there but the trees are now rather taller! It doesn’t seem to ring true with the statement “The source of the well is a spring further up the opposite hillside in Allermead where the original well was located.” Is the location of “Allermead” known – can’t see it on the maps?

With best regards, Stuart.

Thanks for your email. With regards to the source of the Lady Well spring, the following extract came from a book called ‘The Story of Sticklepath’ in which the following is stated; “The source of this never-failing spring is rather further up the hill than the present Ladywell structure, in Alder Meadow (Allermead) on the opposite side of the road.” If you look on the 1906 OS map there are clearly two springs marked on the opposite side of the road to the well which would suggest that the above is correct. The easy way to confirm this would be to look on the tithe map to see where Alder Meadow is located. As to the photograph I cannot be sure as I have never come across the ‘Lion’s Mouth Well’ and can find no reference of it, mind you that doesn’t mean a lot as there are many places on Dartmoor of which I have no knowledge. If you have any further information I would be interested to hear it.

August 5th 2012

Many thanks for article as it has shed light on why the Alford’s have shut off Vixen Tor— I have made a study of European Witch hunts and popular culture, and believe me the people who damage property like this have no lineage to the wise women or cunning men. Nor have they any link to those poor persecuted souls who were burned in Europe or hanged in Britain. They are of course vandals and should be prosecuted for that whenever possible.

Best Regards, David Walters

August 4th 2012


I had a very frightening experience in Lydford this morning and wondered if you might be able to shed some light on it. I found your Lydford Ghosts web page. Perhaps you could call me?

Thanks, Rosie

Sorry, all communications via email only.

August 1st

I was at Jays Grave with my friend yesterday and took a short 7 second video in the video there is sound disturbance and u can also here a crow yet when I took the video it was silent, have you heard of this happening before? I’ll try to attach the video but I’m on my phone so don’t no if it will work,

Thanks Jamie, 22 Exeter

August 1st

I am due to lead a walk to War Horse country tomorrow and referred to your site regarding Ditsworthy Warren house which I found most interesting.

However I am puzzled as you refer to the village of Iddesleigh being 8.25 miles south of the National Park boundary and just west of Okehampton.

Perhaps I am misreading my OS map but is not the village of Iddesleigh NORTH of the national park boundary and north of Okehampton? Though I accept it is slightly to the north west of Okehampton, the grid reference being SX 569 082.

If I have made a mistake I apologise but at least you will see I have read your article.

Pamela Dorrington

Thanks for this, the webpage is duly amended

July 17th 2012.


Firstly, let me say I love your website and have used it often. It’s clear you love the moor and usually your research is superb and I’ve relied on your info several times as authoritative!

So it was a surprise reading your Leat Walk page and seeing some errors about Geocaching! Hopefully you don’t mind me saying this, but what you call a geocache was actually a geocoin, found inside a geocache. Small difference I know, but accuracy is important 🙂

Also, as a 20+ year moor walker and letterboxer, I would argue strongly against “no skill” involved, especially when geocaching on Dartmoor. Even the basic cache requires route-finding skills, if you blindly follow the arrow you deserve to end up in a bog! Let alone some of the more challenging caches, involving puzzles, clues, series, geological anomalies where you have to answer questions about a specific feature. Please don’t assume geocaching is just “follow arrow, find box, follow arrow” – that’s wrong!

I do agree on you that a cache, just as a letterbox, shouldn’t be hidden in a wall though. That’s a shame and has given a bad impression of this to you.

And to many, letterboxing is just as pointless as geocaching. Both involve searching under rocks for tupperware. Just as both act as an incentive to thousands to get outside and enjoy the moor.

Anyway, good work on every other aspect of your site, just wanted to mention that part of your article comes across as quite insulting to some of us!

Simon, aka dartymoor (and others for letterboxing back to the mid 80’s!)

Simon, thanks for your comments, as I have seen many a hot debate regarding this issue on several forums I will just agree to differ, as I said on the webpage, “each to their own.”

July 9th 2012

Hi I’ve just been looking on your website for some places to visit on Dartmoor get some good photos, great site. What are the

numbers next to the name such as SX 8320 8243, are they map refs?

Thanks. Rgds Rob

July 8th 2012

Dear Sir, I have just read your story about Dartmoor Prison. I am surprised that you did not mention me, I was the official Historian for 30 years and a Principal Officer for many years. I supplied the correct list of 271 Americans who died at Dartmoor and in conjunction with US Navy boys at Cornwall, who contacted US FORCES all over England,. we established 2 Memorial stones in the American cemetery, I hold in my personal possession Admiralty General Entry Books (on microfiche) which lists all 6553 Americans who were held at the Dartmoor Depot during the War of 1812. I have held these records for more than 30 years, so it was easy for me to count the Dead, and make my list.

Just Curious, Ron Joy.

There you go, I’ve now given you a mention!

July 1st 2012

Hi I thought it was about time I dropped you a line to thank you for the Legendary Dartmoor website as a never ending source of information. I have been using it on a regular basis for many years. I live in Totnes and I treat Dartmoor as my back garden. Each time I visit your web site I always stumble on a new nugget of information. I am currently planning to walk the Perambulation of the Forest of Dartmoor with my daughter this September and again thanks to your article on your web that inspired me. Please keep up the good work it is greatly appreciated and I hope that one day Dartmoor National Park will see the sense to put you on their payroll, “yes, I too thought I saw a pig flying overhead” Lol.

Best wishes Robert

June 12th 2012

Dear Tim,

I read your article on “The Dartmoor Beacons” in “Legendary Dartmoor” with great interest as I have been intrigued by the relationship between beacons and the Cairns, Barrows and Tumuli for many years. As you point out, many of the Beacon Hills are shared by these ancient mounds which is obviously more than coincidence.

The Rev Polwhele who wrote; “History of Devonshire” nearly three hundred years ago was in no doubt that the barrows were in fact beacons. On page 144 he writes the following:

“On all the circumjacent eminences, beacons are discoverable, in some places several together. And these beacons are in the form of barrows, except that they are not conical: indeed, they have the cone, as it were, inverted, and are hollowed out in the middle. Some of them are of considerable magnitude, being, in diameter no less than fifty feet. With respect to the use of these hollows, there may be some reason in the conjecture, that as intelligence was conveyed from beacon to beacon, during the darkness of the night, by means of fire, such excavations may have been formed to prevent the extinction of those fires through the violence of the winds-since in the hollow, the fuel would be undisturbed, and the flame would ascend above the summit of the beacon, sufficient to answer the purpose

He continues with a list of barrows which he believed served as beacons. Later writers on the subject of beacons ridiculed this idea and said that he “imagined” chains of beacons in the West country.

Using maps, lists of cairns, barrows tumuli (the terms are to some extent interchangeable) and plotting them on “Google Maps” it has become clear that the siting of prehistoric mounds was carefully designed for inter-visibility and that when they are grouped in twos, threes, fours or multiple, they can be seen as relays, where two beacons are positioned on sloping ground so that a signal can be given direction to a distant target. That target may be another single mound, or group, or even an earthworks, fort or castle. I can demonstrate chains of beacons crossing Dartmoor from strategic point to strategic point, and also relay groups designed to avoid obstacles like hill and tors. It appears to be the case that where two lowland settlements were incapable of communicating directly due to the lie of the land messaging was managed using relays on the high ground which were visible from both settlements. It is also possible to demonstrate long distance communication from such places as Portland Bill to Dunkery Beacon via relays at Upton Pines and Cosdon Beacon. If two points are inter-visible then communication is possible. By whom, when and why such a complex system was designed is arguable, but I suspect that is is all about the early trade in valuable minerals, tin perhaps being the most important. If you would like to discuss this further please make contact by email.

Best Wishes, Roger.

June 9th 2012

Thank you for your very interesting site and for the large amount of research which you have evidently put into it. One very minor point arising on your Dartmoor Cattle page is that, although it’s perfectly possible that there are many Welsh Black X Galloway cattle on the moor, the picture entitled “Welsh Black x breed” appears to be of ordinary black Galloway cattle.

Andrew Terry

Thanks Andrew, duly amended.

.May 30th 2012


I am trying to find out if you might know if the surname Honeywill is connected with Honey and or farms that might belong to my forefathers. I am trying to get some contact with folklore. Do you think you can help?

Colin Honeywill , South Africa.

Thanks for your email, I have found the following in Volume 1 of The Place Names of Devon:

Honey is found in Devon in many modern place-names in combination with cyrice, clif, cot(e), land, tun and wielle. In most cases there is not enough evidence to decide between Old English hunig, ‘honey,’ and the Old English personal name Huna. Where compounded with wielle the epithet may refer to the sweetness of the water or to a stream where bees swarmed in pollarded willows and the like. In combination with other elements the name may refer to a place where bees are kept.”

May 29th 2012


First, thank you for this wonderful web site!

My name is David Hoard, now of Arlington, Virginia, USA. Like you, I am a farm boy by birth and rearing (from small towns in Rural Kansas). My wife, Cheri, and I are coming to Devon (and Cornwall and the Cotswolds) from 15-29 September.

I am a direct descendant of the “Hore” who married into the de Risford family back in the12th century. We’re booked into a B&B in Chagford for 3 nights (if memory serves – and often it does not), and I would very much like to visit the site of the old Rushford Manor. Can you tell me how to get there from Chagford?

Having never been to Devon, I’m excited at the opportunity to visit (even more so now that I’ve seen Spielberg’s “War Horse”). My ancestor, Hesekiah Hore came to the colonies in about 1637 and helped settle Taunton, Massachusetts. My “line” of Hesekiah’s descendants eventually moved to New York, then to Wisconsin, and then down to Kansas. The name morphed to “Hoar” fairly early on in Massachusetts, and the “d” was added around 1776 or so – at the insistence of some of the women in the family, according to family tradition. For now, I’m trying to read an absorb all I can about Devon and Dartmoor. I just now stumbled onto your web site and was delighted to do so.

Dave Hoard

May 28th 2012


I recently discovered your marvellous Dartmoor website whilst doing some research on the Queens Jubilee. I was particularly interested in the fact that there is to be a chain of beacons. I was very much involved in a Coronation beacon in 1953 located on Penn Beacon. At that time I was a Boy Scout with the 19th Plymouth troop at Emmanuel church in Manamead .We had a permanent campsite at Cadover Bridge. We applied to the authorities to have a beacon and by some fluke we were chosen. This involved many weekends of work using our iron bound wheeled trek cart and the Scoutmaster’s car ,a 1934 Clyno which resembled an open model baby Austin. We also got considerable help from a local farmer with his tractor and wagon .We also got help from the Plymouth Cooperative society in the form of timber cut on their dairy Farm just outside Modbury at Whimstone and trucked to a roadside location below the beacon . One of our members was the son of the Head of the Plymouth Coop. The Beacon ended up about 15/20 feet high and at least 10 /12 feet in diameter. By the time construction was completed there was a well worn track up to the beacon. The Clyno had a propensity for boiling over as there was no fan but the flat four cylinder engine was finned like a motorcycle, one scout was detailed to keep the lemonade bottles filled from a nearby stream .The car towed the trek cart but even at its slowest speed it was really hard work to guide the shaft on the upward trips as the tow ropes were attached to the wheel hubs. On coronation night we camped out at the Beacon in pup tents and anxiously awaited nightfall We could see the lights of Plymouth but we were to follow a beacon on I think Brent Tor. Or Kit Hill ,we had established a compass bearing for its location and setup markers .Ignition was by means of a tin can filled with a mixture of a paraffin soaked rag and a considerable quantity of magnesium powder courtesy of the Coop Pharmacy department, The can slid down a wire clothes line held aloft on along pole right into the centre of the beacon which had been liberally laced with accelerants. We had also been provided with a large rocket which was fired from a bucket of soil. This rocket seemed huge to us as it was about 4/5 inches in diameter and about 3 feet long excluding the stick and worked perfectly reaching a considerable altitude. We could see at least five other beacons including one on Plymouth Hoe and also several firework displays and bonfires. It was an exciting night for all of us and its a memory I’ll always treasure as part of my recollections of Dartmoor which range from Cranmere Pool to Ducks Pool and our Cadover Bridge campsite. Yours sincerely Capt Ralph Wood (retired).

May 27th 2012

Hi Tim

Reading your website, I’m entranced…. and maybe I can add something to it

On– the element ‘merri’ might refer not so much to jolliness as to Mary and/or to the centrality of a place (from the Latin meri-, mid-) – hence Merrivale is the valley that’s centrally located, possibly not just geographically but also in importance in the lives of the people?

— Best, Caroline Petherick

May 15th 2012

Hi there,

Among my many and varied interests is the archaeology of Dartmoor, both pre-historic and Industrial, and over the summer i’ve planned a number of walks which i hope to write about on my personal blog, detailing the sites i visit which should include the majority of the larger stone circles and stone rows to be found on the moor. Having recently discovered your excellent web-site i was hoping you wouldn’t mind me occasionally linking to it in my writings, as the informative descriptions, historical background and accurate locational information will provide interested readers with far more information then i could ever offer (short of outright plagiarism). Thanks for your time, and keep up the great work on your website.

Regards, Alex

April 22nd 2012

Sorry about the rushed email, I got so excited when I seen your website with Raddick hill falls. I think this is the place me and my family have been searching for! My granddad who sadly passed away 5 years ago used to take us to this beautiful place but we don’t know how to get there! Do you know how to get there please? We used to park by the “tunnels” are there tunnels? Then we used to walk by a stream for a while and then sit by this waterfall! I can’t wait to finally take our family again so we can remember my granddad! I’m sorry if this makes no sense, I feel I’m rambling on. I have photos so we can see if its the same place. Lauren Thomson.

April 17th 2012

Hello Tim

Remember me it’s Tim Jenkinson (Dartmoor Poet). I’m still interested in the lesser known tors of Dartmoor and note from your visitor’s book that there has been some debate about the location of Rough Tor near Sheepstor. I have previously only been to the higher rocks of this tor and quote a NGR of SX 574685. I was intrigued to see that there are several lower rocks as I suspected and not too far away it seems from the higher ones, so needless to say I will be visiting this area soon to update my records. Excellent website by the way Tim and a Happy New Year for 2012

Tim Jenkinson

April 14th 2012

Hi there,

I was reading your “Satan & the Holy Cross” page, which I found quite entertaining. You did mention “White Jelly fungus” which is sometimes found on Dartmoor. I have sometimes come across this substance on Dartmoor, and wondered what it is.

I looked at which appears to talk of the same thing or things, for there may be more than one explanation for the substance. No-one seems to positively know what it is.

The stuff I have seen, which looks just like your photo, always appears to be found in boggy areas. I have seen a lump of it in the centre of a flat granite “paving” stone beside the Grimstone and Sortridge leat. This seems unlikely for a fungus. When I have found it in grass it appears to be on top of the grass and not attached to the ground. I rather favour the frog jelly regurgitated by herons theory, but I have seen it in October which is not the right time of year. I last saw some close to the brook between Feather Tor and Vixen Tor on January 19th this year.

I will start making a note of when and where I find the stuff. I thought you might find this interesting.

Regards , David

April 13th 2012

Dear Tim,

You may remember that we were in touch a few years ago when I added a section on Hallsands to my website on Abandoned Communities. You were kind enough to put a link to my website on your page on Houndtor.

I have at last got round to adding a page of Links to my website. and I was only too happy to include a link to your Houndtor page. You can see it at

With best wishes, Stephen Fisk

April 11th 2012

Dear Tim Sandles,

My name is Sophie and I am part of the BBC One Show specialist factual team at Icon Films. We are currently looking at making a film on the medieval rabbit warrens of Dartmoor and I was wondering if you’d be happy to discuss your knowledge on the subject?

Best Regards and I look forward to hearing back from you, Sophie.

April 10th 2012

Hi Tim,

Many thanks for the quick reply!! I will go to the site which is now a golf course that once formed the demesne lands of Rathfarnham Castle. I will take some photos and measurements and send them if that’s ok. They may be agricultural from potato ridges but they are unusual. In the 17th century it was a deer park and there were fish ponds so rabbits fit into that kind of castle economy. I will be back to you soon, thanks again.


April 10th 2012

Hello Tim,

I hope your well, My name is Jerry Gillard, AKA lost boy, I’m a frequent visitor to the moors and an occasional visitor to your web site. this Sunday just gone I was hoping to do some boxes in the Okement. Beak House and down as far as Ger Tor, a long day but a good walk, the boxes are just an excuse. The fog curtailed that, so I just walked up the Tramway to the Peat Works and back, on the way out going up the hill within site of Gt Links, I found a VW/Audi type car key on the track, is there any where on you site you can put a found item that a searcher may find it, or do you know of anywhere lost and found items can be advertised.

Good Walking, Jerry Gillard.

April 9th 2012

Dear Sir,

I enjoyed looking at your website on the above artist. However, there is one anomaly that puzzles me, and I hope that you can throw some light on the matter.

Some years ago I fell in love with a large watercolour, obviously depicting a dartmoor scene. a tiny brook running through the centre of a field and then leading onto the Moors beyond. The more you look at it the more detail you find. For example a tiny timber gate set into the field wall, etc, etc. I was told that the artist was Charles Brittan, and his signature is shown very faintly to the bottom left of the painting. To my best belief it shows C. E. BRITTAN.

Your website however states that only his father signed his pictures with his initials. Could this therefore be an earlier work by his father, although definitely not a painting of animals, but quite definitely a landscape .

Kind regards , John Fletcher

April 9th 2012

Dear Sir or Madam,

I read your very interesting article on rabbit warrens and pillow mounds. I don’t live anywhere near you but in Dublin Ireland. I am doing research on a 16th century castle landscape. I came across some features which look like pillow mounds but since I never saw one before I don’t really know if they are or not. Would it be at all possible to e mail Tim Sandles about this since he knows so much maybe he could put me straight. I would be grateful for any information on this unusual subject.

Best regards Rebecca Jeffares

April 8th 2012

Dear Sir,

I have owned the above Kenilworth Castle Watercolour for about 40 years. In the foreground is a herd of 5 brown and white cows, a herdsman and his Collie type dog, in the background the ruins of Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire. Can you give me any information? Is the painting likely to be by the elder Brittan, or by his son?

With kind regards, Dr R Frank

March 25th 2012

Hello Tim

Thanks for that additional info on TROWLESWORTHY that’s very helpful as we hope to be down there around the 2nd week of April. I hope to be out of Tavistock a little after 2.15 so be there around 2.45 for a good hour which should leave us time for a cuppa tea somewhere before heading back to Newton Abbot.

I was singing the praises of your website to a group of Torbay Ramblers today when we were doing a walk out of Asprington.. quite a few were already fans of it.. I’m now going to have to try and find that “pulpit” letterbox you referred to .. that will be a nice surprise for the group.. have no fear, I will make sure it properly put back.


March 25th 2012


My name is Don Frampton, a member of Teign U3A.. if your not familiar with the U3A organisation and would like to know more then a Google search will tell all. Essential a nationwide organisation of senior citizens who self help learning and experiences.

I organise a social programme for members and currently I am working on what I call a MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR OF DARTMOOR. Designed for those with modest walking ability yet curious about the moor ancient past. So this is a bus tour with frequent stops and short walks so places like the stone tramway jays grave the Cist close to Hound Tor and Grimspound etc.

I just want to say how much I have appreciated all the work you have put in on the website – The planning of our little tour has reached Merrivale just before Tavistock where we will lunch and we have about 45 minutes .. so of all to see the question is what to leave out .. No matter. We end our moorland trip around Trowlesworthy- an area I have never visited and rather spread out. Any advise on that area would be very helpful.. a small group of us will recce the area early in April.

So.. thank you very much for all the help I have gained from you website .. its quite brilliant .

Regards, Don Frampton in Newton Abbot

March 24th 2012

Tim (It is Tim isn’t it?)

Your lovely web page “Legendary Dartmoor” has a little error: Page:/sun_dials.htm

Reads: “During the medieval period the understanding of astrology let to the sundial becoming more accurate as the markings took into account smaller time divisions and seasonal variation, they also became known as ‘scratch dials'”.

It should read:During the medieval period the greater understanding of astronomy led to the sundial becoming more accurate as the markings took into account smaller time divisions and seasonal variation, they also became known as ‘scratch dials’.

Kind regards,


March 22nd 2012


My names Christopher Young I’m a film maker working out of the University of the Creative Arts and I’m currently working on a film that requires a Waterfall and from your description of Kitts Falls, it sounds perfect. I’m am emailing to inquire to whether you have any information on who owns Kitts Falls, i have noticed from your website that it is private property. If you have any information in who owns it that would be great.

Also, if there are any directions from Lydford to Kitts Falls that you could possibly provide, that would be fantastic too as I plan on visiting the location this weekend/ Monday.

Any information is greatly appreciated Thank you for your time.

Cheers, Chris Young

March 7th 2012

Dear Tim (if I may),

Having just found and enjoyed using your website (Legendary Dartmoor) for the first time I wanted to write and thank you for this most excellent resource. My wife and I spent a few days based at Two Bridges and learnt much from your site through my iPhone (that one can do this still amazes me!) And now we are home we have read so much more that we are inspired to return to Dartmoor at an early opportunity!

I am sure you get many such emails, yet it remains important that those of us who benefit form your work should mark our thanks in some way.

With best wishes, Michael Trend.

March 3rd 2012

Firstly thank you, from the bottom of my heart for posting this web site. I e-mailed you a couple of weeks ago about a (magical) walking stick that I found at Scarey Tor.
As you stated on one of your pages you don’t love dartmoor you are obsessed with it, I totally agree I have the same obsession. But unlike you I can no longer, indulge my obsession. That is until I got a PC and found you web site!
As I said in my previous e-mail, I went letterboxing for about 3 years, then moved back to London (stupid me), I followed my heart and married her 20 years ago, so I can’t complain too much. But I have always dreamt, of walking the moor again, I did in ’92. I walked out of Stickle Path, and spent the weekend on the north moor. But bit of more than I could chew, and strained the ligaments in both knees. This was the Sunday and I was around Bleak House, (nr. Meldon Reservoir). This was mid-summer’s day, and would you believe that a string of balloon’s, chose that time to land, (the string holding them got caught in stones) very near Bleak House! I had till Monday morning to get back to Okehampton and a bus back to Exeter. This meant getting over the West Okement, and up and over the ridge at Black Tor, but I was never anxious or afraid. As I said in my last e-mail there is something on Dartmoor that looks after people like me (idiots).
But now at the age of 63, too many years of smoking has caught up with me and I now suffer from COPD. Which means I can hardly walk 100 yards, instead of the 6 to Cranmere Pool from Okehampton, I’d just about make to the police station! Which brings me to the reason for this e-mail, thanks to your web site I can still walk miles across the moor in my imagination. GREAT WORK KEEP IT UP!!!!!!
Yours Sincerely Frank Thompson.

February 28th 2012


My name is Adrian, I am a member of a small film production team, Four Point Films. We are a groups of students from the University of Lincoln and we are making a film in Dartmoor between the 5th – 9th March.

We are a crew of only four and are making a short film for a university project. I would just like to say, we are not your average uni student group! We like to take our film projects seriously and will be working with some talented actors to hopefully make a really good film!

The reason for contacting you is that we have been in contact with Okehampton Castle with regards tousing it as a filming location, but we fear that it may require more paperwork and potentially be unavailable for the time we wanted to film.

After looking at your website, I see you are somewhat of a local expert and wondered if you knew of any alternative places we could shoot without any access restrictions.

The kind of place we are looking for is a ruined building or place that has some interesting history attached to it. In the story our two main characters come across a stranger who starts telling them a story about the location’s past. For film purposes, the more picturesque the better! Okehampton Castle sprang to mind, but we would be willing to consider alternative locations.

If you have any thoughts on the matter we would be very happy to hear from you. Of course, if you provide us with any information, we can thank you by putting your name in the credits.

Thanks, Adrian.

February 23rd 2012

Hi Tim

I forward an email from Sally which is self explanatory, and is a follow up to a talk which I gave to the scouts.
As you can imagine both Stephanie and myself spend a lot of time talking to new letterboxers and the media both in the UK and abroad (did you see Flog It BBC 2 last week) that being the latest and have always promoted the hobby as being friendly and a good way to discover the moors.
We frequently use your website and having looked at the page on the Meet note that it is dated and we both understand your sense of humour, (especially the grey hair bit, bet yours is nearly grey now!) however many people do not, so on this occasion has proved a discouragement to letterboxing.
We know that those new to Dartmoor use your website so would ask that you have another look at the Meet details and give it a more encouraging report.
We have a bumper number of Charity Walks attending this year and trust that you are still able to come along and buy me a “Pint”
Regards, Roger & Stephanie.


February 22nd 2012

Hi Tim,

Thanks very much for a very interesting site. Yesterday I noticed a tor at approx. SX 7391 7770 and after a bit of research it would appear to be Charbe Tor, according to the 1809 “old series” map, not too far from Bonehill Rocks, but not Bonehill Rocks. Hope this is of interest.

Best wishes, Mike.

February 22nd 2012

I am a member of the Moorland Guides and obviously take walks onto the moor, are your legendary sheets copyright or can I print these off and use for info
Many thanks, Mike Jeffery

Every page and it’s contents on Legendary Dartmoor is definitely copyrighted and intended for personal use only, this would exclude printing them off for public use and/or for profitable gain. I invest a lot of time, personal expense and effort in building and maintaining the Legendary Dartmoor website hence the copyright restrictions. If you can clarify exactly what you intend on doing with the information once you have printed it then I can give you an answer.

February 21st 2012

I found your web sight very interesting, and would like to relate a story you may find of interest. During the late 1980’s I spent a few years walking on dartmoor. Most of the time I was on my own, but I never felt alone or afraid, despite having to rely on public transport. So no matter what anyone say’s to the contrary, there is soothing on Dartmoor! For want of a better idea I call it/them pixies. I started letter boxing during the summer of 1988, and in 3 months had found about 5 or 6 boxes. Then on a trip to Scary Tor near Okehampton, I found a stick leaning against the tor .From that day on, I collected 6 or more boxes a day. That was until on Saturday when I left the stick in the Devil’s Elbow at Princetown. I went back and retrieved it the following week-end, and had one of the worse day’s letter boxing ever, only finding a couple! Only to go back to 6 or more the next trip onto the moor. Needless to say I have the idea the stick was left by the pixies.

So before I left Devon to return to London (in 1991, and 200+ boxes later) I took the stick back to Scary Tor! Just in case!!!! That said even now as I pass Scary Tor on the A30, I toot the pixies in greeting.

Frank Thompson

February 17th 2012

Hi. I am a wildlife journalist and working on a commissioned book about the world’s national birds, a chapter of which will spotlight the Robin as the UK’s unofficial national bird. I came across your Dartmoor website and was fascinated to read those parts concerning the Robin. Just wondered if I could have your permission to quote extracts from your website (I would give the address, of course). If that is OK with you, I would greatly appreciate having your full name and knowing a bit about your and your connections with Dartmoor.

Very many thanks. Ron Toft Winchester

February 16th 2012

Dear Mr Sanders,

Having looked at your interesting website and your obvious knowledge of the lovely dartmoor wondered if you may be able to help me please? I have 3 paintings of which I would love to know the locations of. have you some idea?
Thank you, looking forward to hearing from you, Karen. please find attached pic.

February 15th 2012

I think that what I am searching for does not exist but if it does I am sure you are the guy to know !!! I am on the hunt for a map or information on stones & mines on the moor. I suspect there are too many for a map. A book on the potted history of the moor would be interesting. I really know nothing of dartmoor & we are staying near later this year and do not want to miss anything.
Many thanks, Lynne.

February 14th 2012

Hi Tim,

Stumbled across your website whilst looking up Tom Rowden , I found it very interesting and informative showing your passion for Dartmoor.

Do you know anyone who may be interested in any Tom Rowden paintings, I have had 2 for 25yrs but would now like to sell.

Regards, Chris Barrett

February 5th 2012

Dear Tim,

I’m putting together a piece on Hugh Breton’s booklet ‘Hawker of Morwenstow’ for the Robert Stephen Hawker website: I can’t find any biographical info on Breton on the web, but Genuki has a reference to an article by Mike Lang in the ‘Dartmoor Magazine’.

If you have this article in your collection is there any chance you could scan it for me to use as reference material? I’m happy to pay a reasonable fee for this. The reference given by Genuki is: ‘Hugh Breton M.A., a brief account of his life and works, by Mike Lang. Dartmoor Magazine no. 24 (1991) pp.4-5: ill. port. [1873-1936]’.

Thanks for all the work you’ve put into ‘Legendary Dartmoor’ – it’s a very impressive site and a great source of information. My eyesight isn’t great and I find reading on the computer quite tiring, so I especially appreciate the uncluttered layout and the nice clear font.

Best wishes, Angela Williams – Website editor for the Hawker Society.

January 31st 2012

Hi Tim,

First of all I would like to commend you on a great website bursting with information and thank you for commitment. I was hoping I could take a moment of your time and stifle through your dartmoor knowledge. Upon a walk to Scorhill in early January I made my way to Kestor and stumbled across another stone circle in the field below, however this one wasn’t mapped and so far I have failed to establish it’s origin. From a quick search on the internet I’ve discovered it’s a modern circle maybe erected for a famous couple that live nearby. Could you shed any light on the subject? – Guy Richardson.

January 29th 2012

My colleague and I will be visiting Dartmouth, in particular Princetown, Gunnislake and Tavistock, on 3rd March in order to research for the writing of a new graphic novel set around the moorlands. We are particularly looking at the period 1860-80 and are aiming to find out more information about the surrounding area specific to that time. I have found your website very interesting and was wondering if there were any particularly interesting or relevant myths/landmarks that should be brought to our attention? We obviously want to get the most out of our weekend visit and wondered if you could advise on any such essential areas?

Many Thanks, Rob Digweed

January 21st 2012

Just found your piece about the above by accident.

Having lived in Sherril for over 50 years I have picked up a few things………… The cottage for sale in 1916 was Hornet’s Castle, owned for a short time by the C-Ps who moved to Rogues Roost in 1905 having rebuilt it from a ruin for the sum of £890 not bad for a 7 bedroomed house. Sadly shortly after moving there Mr C-P died leaving Mrs and 5 children. Hence selling the cottage. I could tell you more but it would bore you

Regards, Simon Booty

January 17th 2012

Dear Mr. Sandles,

“ZVEZDA TV-Channel” expresses deep honor and kindly ask you for a favor. Our shooting crew is preparing the documentary devoted to the Devon’s Evil Legend and the history of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” novel creation.

We kindly ask you to give us an interview.

Shoting crew: Maxim Dodonov, correspondent and the author of the documentary Vitaliy Birukov, cameraman Mariya Volkova, producer

January 17th 2012

Hello there,

I am wondering if you can help me track down the traditional sites for Beacon Fires and the grid refs for them. I live on the North Coast of Scotland and would like to help create an event using the traditional locations but am having trouble locating any kind of resource to guide me.

How did you track down the information for your area?

Thanks, Alex Patience

January 13th 2012

Hi there, I think your website is OUTSTANDING! My family come from the Okehampton area from hundreds of years back, but I was born in Sidmouth; however the depth of information and research you’ve collected is staggering and most of it is probably unknown to most locals! When we used to see the piles of little bottles at Meldon when I was little I had no idea about the Aplite etc., although my mother lived there in the 20s!! Thanks again An amazing odyssey.

Patience Gent Milford Haven

January 3rd 2012

Hello Tim,
Just wanted to thank you for giving back our sanity, a few years ago we took two pictures at Huggaton cut, one at east end grid 60258695 with a stone post and one at west end grid 60058694 with a wooden post, Philpotts peat pass markers but according to all references there was not supposed to be any markers there, sure enough when we eventually returned there, no post! After a loud discussion on the fact that hubby had got it wrong, we must have been somewhere else, had he been sampling magic mushrooms? Home we went scanned the pictures, back up to the spot, held the picture up to check the background tors, yes I humbly say this is the spot (I hate it when he’s right). This has played on our minds for years as no one mentioned it, we thought that somehow our minds and camera were pixie muddled. Now when reading your article on peat passes you also saw the post!! Do you think when replacements were being put out for the lost posts, this was put there by mistake then moved to its correct position or shall we stick to the idea pixie movers!! We are just glad some one else saw it.

Love your web site. Maureen & Robin Vane

December 27th 2011

Tim, just a quick line to wish you a wonderful 2012, and a very big thank you for all the time and effort put into your site. Being one of the many who, for various reasons, have had to leave Dartmoor, I cannot tell you how important your site is, its as close to being home as one can get. Thanks again Tim. Yours Respectfully, Pete Gooch.

December 23rd 2011

Hi there Tim.
The DNPA is ending its guided walks in April 2012. The Dartmoor guides have sent up a little co-operative called Moorland Guides Take a look and see what you think!
Would you consider a link to us on Legendary Dartmoor???
Christmas Blessings
With kind regards from Simon Dell.

December 13th,

Hello Tim,

You might be interested in a story…..regarding pixies or fairies. As a young boy (aged 6) living in Mary Tavy, late one night whilst laying in bed watching the light from the landing light flicker across the far wall I saw what can only be described as small balls of light making their way through the opening in the door and floating in a line towards the bed opposite me (occupied then by my sleeping brother). As they approached they changed into tiny figures all dressed in the most amazingly colourful clothes. They walked on the bed and settled around my brother (age 4) who was completely unawares and still sound asleep. Each figure no taller than three or four inches….unfortunately no wings or pointy ears! Living in Mary Tavy I was expert at catching newts, frogs, toads, tadpoles and grasshoppers and thought I could catch one of these creatures quite easily…so prepared to pounce only to discover I was frozen solid from head to toe and only my eyes allowed to move. After a few minutes more they reformed an ordered line and walked to the end of the bed and disappeared as they came in small floaty balls of light through the opening in the doorway. As the last light disappeared I was freed from my hold and able to run like the wind to my folk’s bedroom to explain what I’d just seen. To say the least they were not impressed and sent me packing back to bed where I laid planning how I might catch them the next time. A few days passed and my mother suddenly took an interest in my tale and asked me to draw what I saw…apparently she had met the previous owner of the house and in passing happened to recall my tale to her…whereupon this lady quite unexpectedly said she too had seen them…and in the same bedroom!

This story has for many years been difficult to tell anyone. My wife embarrassed by it and friends ridiculing me whenever I bring it up. I know it happened and I know what I saw. I’m a logical thinker and can honestly say I have never experienced anything like it before or since.

December 13th 2011

Dear Mr Sandles,

It is with much interest I read your webpage on Dartmoor Sheep. In particular the bit about the introduction of the scotch blackface sheep by Mr Lamb. Within my family for many years has been the story that our great great grandfather namely James Hogg (Shepherd) born in Muirfoot, Lanarkshire 1859 was employed by a ‘Lady Lamb’ and relocated along with his wife and 5 children from Scotland to Dartmoor at some time between 1894 and 1901 living at Round Hill farm near Princetown (property belonging to the Lamb family I assume) bringing with them the scotch blackface sheep and rearing them on Dartmoor as he had done in Scotland.

The 1901 census shows James as head of the household and occupation Shepherd. The 1911 census record shows James still living at Round Hill Farm but he is now listed as ‘Gentleman Farmer’ implying he had sufficient wealth and free time to pursue an area of interest without depending on it for his livelihood….did the move from Scotland to Dartmoor make James a wealthy man? By 1915 he appears to have moved to Rattery and changed occupation to ‘innkeeper’ at the Church House Inn. My Grandmother (Iris Hogg) recalled James was a drinking man as was his wife Sarah…reason why I guess they took up this venture? The book of Rattery makes reference of them as ‘the old Scottish people the Hoggs’.

James’ youngest son Gardner Hogg married Ethel Squires from Lustleigh (May Queen 1910). Between them they had two sons Maurice and Douglas Hogg. Douglas married Iris Hoar and had daughters Elisabeth (my mother) and Sarah Hogg. Gardner and Ethel owned many farms and pubs including Beardown farm (Princetown), Dowerland Farm (Mary Tavy), The Church House Inn (Rattery), the Burton Boys Inn (Plymouth), and other pubs elsewhere…in Gunnislake and Plympton.

Ultimately did James Hogg and ‘Lady Lamb’ accomplish between them the plans Mr Lamb failed to do as a result of his death? The jump from lowly shepherd to gentleman farmer in a period of ten years is eye opening to say the least. You may be able to shed more light on the matter. Please find attached a photo of James Hogg, dressed in rather fine clothes

Kindest Regards, Peter Fitzsimmons.

Many thanks Peter for this fascinating information, to see a photograph of James Hogg – click HERE
December 4th 2011

To whom it may concern, I read with great interest your information on the Duchy Hotel. I would just like to add that whilst researching my family history I found my great great-grandfather living in the building (Barracks Officers´ Pavilion) in the 1841 census. He was called John Herring and was a blacksmith from Calstock. He is there with his wife Catherine and three children. He died in three years later in 1844 (registered at Tavistock ) aged 44. I assume he died in Princetown and could be buried there. The building appeared to be used as lodgings for tradesmen who came to the area. Are you aware of any large work projects at Princetown that might have caused him to have been employed in there.

yours faithfully, W.F. Clive Herring.

November 25th 2011

John Chudleigh’s Antiquities 1893 mentions the kist on his foldout map. It’s a great page, just thought you needed to know it was found over a hundred years ago!!!!!!

All the best Roland Harris.

Thanks Roland for pointing this out, the Whitehorse kist web page has now been updated with this info

November 27th 2011

You are probably very knowledgeable!

In the early 80s I was walking along a lane towards the village, with my small son. We spotted the back half of a black Labrador, tail wagging, front half hidden in the bracken. I saw it for 2 or 3 seconds. Then it disappeared. It didn’t dive into the bracken, it was as if the slate was wiped. I told my pal who used to live near Belstone, and she said, Oh yes, lots of people have seen him.

The dogs that make it into the papers are always threatening, and have eyes as big as saucers etc etc but this one was entirely jolly and Labrador-like. I wonder whether these things are maybe quite common, but people don’t go on looking and actually registering what they have seen.

Best wishes, S Wheatley.

November 25th 2011

Good morning, Tim.

I wondered if you might update your information with regards to the Dartmoor Archive below. I take no objection to your opinion and it is nice to see someone who is willing to be honest online in the World of bland PC culture. We endeavour to be as accurate as we can but there are no doubt gaps in the information, if you see any errors then please do let us know. I took over this project three yers ago and was disgusted in the quality of the information, we are slowly improving it as time goes on. We do now have 15,000 images, rather than 6,000. It would be nice to have the image numbers updated if you get a moment. I appreciate your comments nonetheless.

Kind regards, Jamie Dunbar

November 21st 2011

Hi Tim

On the Tors of Dartmoor page you have a Rough Tor at SX 579 685.

I was there today to check it out and there is nothing there but a steep sloping field (and the same all around) filled with bracken with a bit of moor stone here and there.

A few days ago a friend and I went in search of this tor and we found it at SX 5473 6855, about 500 metres away. The full story can be seen on The main point is that the “tor” we found fits the description and has the summit pan described by Hemery, High Dartmoor, page 163 (in my edition).

Cheers – Keith.

Thanks Keith, I have amended the co-ordinates, much appreciated.

November 16th 2011


I produce a small magazine “Stonechat” I’ve been covering various aspects of dry stone buildings and have been looking for information on Ash Houses and came across them on your site (having just discovered it vis vermin traps which I have been researching for the current edition). I was wondering if it would be possible to include the ‘article’ on your site. I was also wondering if you had any more information/photos that might flesh it out a bit.


I look forward to your advice

Sean Adcock

November 15th 2011

Dear Tim

I love your legendary Dartmoor website and refer to it regularly. I’m not sure if you still add to it but I wanted to send you my simple little story in case you do and in case you felt like just adding it Smile. I am a writer with articles and stories published in magazines. I write for a magazine in Plymouth and am a teacher of Psychology and Law. I also write educational resources for colleges. I read on your site about Margins magazine and I had an article published in the magazine about Morwellham. I must say I’m not surprised at your work being so unceremoniously pinched that way but I haven’t seen the magazine again for ages. I did send an article to but she never replied.

I hope you may like my story; it is very simple and an easy read and is a slight ‘twist’ on the legend of Wheal Betsy.

Look forward to hearing from you, best wishes. Becky.

Thanks for your story which can be found – HERE

November 14th 2011

Dear Sir

I felt I must contact you and tell you of a something that occurred this morning October 2nd 2011 whilst I was walking on Dartmoor. I was walking alone around 0900 hrs and returning from a visit to Wistman’s wood. I had just phoned a friend to tell him what a fantastic place the wood was and was looking down at the thicket at the other side of the stream at Grid 609755. I suddenly noticed what seemed to be a large cat walking into the thicket, I watched the creature for about 10 seconds until it went out of sight, all the time giving my friend a running commentary. It was about the size of a German Shepherd but was certainly not a dog. My friend convinced me that what I had seen was a black sheep and I finally agreed he must be right, however the more I think about it the more I am sure that what I saw was a large cat.

I would like to add that I have always been a total disbeliever in large cat sighting even though whilst serving in the Royal Marines in 1983 I spent a week with several other marines stalking the ‘Beast of Bodmin’ without seeing any trace of a cat like creature. I cannot say 100% that what I saw was a cat but neither can I say 100% that what I saw wasn’t. I certainly would not go to the press as I feel I would be ridiculed but it has certainly given me food for thought on the subject of cat sightings in Britain.

Yours faithfully, Jeff White

November 7th 2011

Good Morning,

I have received an article for publication in Funeral Service Journal about Dartmoor and death rituals. The author makes references to image on your website and I wonder if it would be in order to use a few of these to accompany the article? The images are: Kitty Jay’s grave, The Lych Way map, Coffin stones split in two and the Ted Hughes memorial stone

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards, Brian Parsons

November 7th 2011

Hi Tim, I see in your Legendary Dartmoor ‘Travellers Ford Cross’ page that you make reference to “a small metal plate with a cross on it just above the old Huntingdon Warren”. This incised cross was sited by myself and, having read your book (A Pilgrimage) and looked at your site, I wondered if you would like some info. It is a memorial cross for the American crew of the Douglas Dakota that crashed nearby in bad weather on 13th October 1945. I made it when I was sixteen in my school workshop from a hefty block of Aluminium cut on a milling machine. It was buffed up to a very shiny finish which has suffered a bit in over 25 years. Placed on the moor in the summer of 1985 by myself and my father – cutting the socket hole blunted two chisels and took nearly three hours! I usually visit the site every year and give it a polish – for the first few years I found black ink on it –I think people were using it as a letterboxing stamp? I see someone has bashed it with a rock but it is well set in, being about 40 mm deep. Hope this has shed some light, yours, Brett Sutherland – see photo HERE

November 4th 2011

Hi I need a really good ghost story for an English project Im doing but it has to be a local story, so i was wondering if you knew any really good ones i could use. please reply soon – anonymous.

Sorry, tried emailing anonymous and it was returned, maybe next time your name would help get a reply.

November 3rd 2011


I’m a huge fan of your website, and I’m wondering if some of your readers might be interested in coming along to an “Evening of Dartmoor Stories” at the Lydford Country house Hotel one evening in December? I’m just quickly doing a feasibility check here, so details to be confirmed, but I notice your website reaches thousands and I’m only looking for about 50 people to come along.

It’s an evening of stories mainly from my new book “The Devil Comes to Dartmoor” just about to be published by the History Press. It’s the true story behind the ghost story of Lady Howard who as you know haunts the roads between Tavistock and Okehampton in a spirit coach.

I’m also very happy to promote any other works by other authors or other websites. Any advice or information you could offer would be most welcome.

With best wishes, Laura Quigley

November 2nd 2011

Dear Tim,

I owe you a deep debt of gratitude having found via your website, after many years of searching (not easy from Lancashire), what is undisputedly the finest hogs pudding in Devon.

There is a long story attached to this and that is the subject of my blog today which I know that you will enjoy. I can be found at

Kind regards and thank you once again.

Yours sincerely, Chris Gleave

November 1st 2011

Dear Tim,

I discovered this kistvaen some 14 – 15 years ago. I did show it to someone who collected ‘kists’ and he said he would add it to his list. I never heard from him again !!! Six months later I saw theodolite marks at the site – 3 holes in the ground made by a tripod. I first published the info in the Dartmoor Magazine, before the guy was shown the site. He contacted me from the magazine article that was published. The kist is some 120 ‘steps’ – (its down hill so no paces!), down the path towards Windy Post Cross, from the very crest of Barn Hill. There is a small flat rock resting against the crest making a small triangle. From that point go 130 steps point down the path towards Windy Post . At the 130 steps point here is a largish LOW flat rock to the left. Stop here. Turn right through 90 degrees to the path, ending up with your back to Hessary mast. and walk some 25 – 30 paces towards the kist. The photo has approximate grid reference – I hope 🙂 It is more overgrown at the moment. Let me know if you find it. Thousands of people must have walked past it and never noticed it.

Happy hunting. Best wishes, Gerry Sargent.

See photo – HERE

October 25th 2011

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing from The History Press to make you aware of one of our most recent publications titled ‘The Devil Comes to Dartmoor’. Written by local author Laura Quigley, this new book looks at the haunting true story of Mary Howard, Devon’s ‘Demon Bride’, a story of love, treachery and revenge in seventeenth-century Devon. More detailed information on the book is in the attached information sheet.

As a website dedicated to the history of the area I am enquiring as to whether you would like to review it or feature some extracts in any of your publications or on your webpage. I would be more than happy to provide you with any material that you might need in order to create an interesting feature. I think this is something that could be mutually beneficial, giving your members some highly relevant content while helping us promote the books publication. I hope this is of interest to you, and look forward to your reply.

Kind Regards, Ross

October 20th 2011

Dear Ian,

I’m looking to do a tour of Dartmoor spring 2012 to include Hound tor, Merrivale and Grimspound. I am familiar with your name as some what of an expert on the moors. It’s specifically the ancient sites I’m interested in covering and would like to know if you’re interested in being involved in some way. Please contact me via this email address in the first instance. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Yours Sincerely, Sally

Here’s a lesson on making sure you send an email to the right person, sadly I am not the ‘expert on the moors‘ she is talking about.

October 20th 2011

Hi Tim, I am working on a geology series for BBC1. I’m interested in doing a short sequence about Conan Doyle and how Dartmoor has influenced his story Hound of the Baskervilles. You seem to have a great knowledge of the subject. It would be great if you had a bit of time to talk about the story. Let me know a number and when would be good to chat and I’ll give you a call.

All the best for now, Kate.

October 16th 2011

Hi, my name is Anna Curnow and I am a keen amateur landscape photographer living in Okehampton. I have just had a website created for me and would be very grateful if you could add a link to it on your link page. I will gladly return the favour and put a link back to you on my site. My website is and it contains stunning images of Dartmoor landscapes. If this is possible, please let me know and I’ll put the link online.

Thank you, Anna.

Well worth a click, some stunning photos.

October 2nd 2011

Dear Sir

I felt I must contact you and tell you of a something that occurred this morning October 2nd 2011 whilst I was walking on Dartmoor. I was walking alone around 0900 hrs and returning from a visit to Wistman’s wood. I had just phoned a friend to tell him what a fantastic place the wood was and was looking down at the thicket at the other side of the stream at Grid 609755. I suddenly noticed what seemed to be a large cat walking into the thicket, I watched the creature for about 10 seconds until it went out of sight, all the time giving my friend a running commentary. It was about the size of a German Shepherd but was certainly not a dog. My friend convinced me that what I had seen was a black sheep and I finally agreed he must be right, however the more I think about it the more I am sure that what I saw was a large cat.

I would like to add that I have always been a total disbeliever in large cat sighting even though whilst serving in the Royal Marines in 1983 I spent a week with several other marines stalking the ‘Beast of Bodmin’ without seeing any trace of a cat like creature. I cannot say 100% that what I saw was a cat but neither can I say 100% that what I saw wasn’t. I certainly would not go to the press as I feel I would be ridiculed but it has certainly given me food for thought on the subject of cat sightings in Britain. Yours faithfully, Jeff White

September 30th 2011

Hi Tim

I’ve been looking at your Dartmoor Legends website as I was trying to find some history about Gold and mining in the south west Dartmoor area – for an article in Moor Links Christmas issue. Would you be able to help further?

As it will be the Christmas issue we have a financial article all about investing in Gold and I thought it may be fun to link it in our local ‘A little bit of History’ section, too. However, my history knowledge is practically zero and would need someone who knows a thing or two – to write the article.

(If you visit my website and click on ‘latest issue’ you can scroll through the pdf to the ‘A little bit of History’ article – towards the back – to give you some idea of what I’m on about!)

I look forward to hearing you.

Kind regards, Lizzie Watt

September 27th 2011

Dear Sir,

I visited Fice’s Well today and decided to look up some information about it on the web when I got home. Yours was the first website I got to and I thought it was very well done and informative. However, in the piece on Fice’s Well, I thought you’d want to know that the date cited as being inscribed on the lintel of the well is incorrect. The date is discernable as 1568 yet you have 1582.

Kind regards,

Graham Brown

Thanks Graham, I’ve now rectified the typo

September 20th 2011

Hi Tim,

Thank you so much for your Legendary Dartmoor site – it is such a treasure and I wanted to show my appreciation for your work. I can tell it is being done with love and passion.

I am planning a weeks holiday on Dartmoor for us and our guests. We are staying just outside Chagford and I am looking up interesting ancient ceremonial/archaeological sites (with their stories) and just plain beautiful places to visit as well as browsing the (ghostly) legends on your website for stories to tell around the Halloween fires. Wistman’s wood is must definitely on my list, as is Lydford Gorge and the Devil’s cauldron. There’s so much on the website that it is hard to decide which places we will visit (preferably all but that would definitely take longer than one week). Any tips or suggestions of MUST SEE’s are welcome. I read you have lived near Chagford so maybe you know some of the enchanting places to visit near Chagford and beyond.

Kind regards, Natasha

September 3rd 2011

Hello ,I do hope you can give me some practical advice .I have 4 Labradors who I exercise on dartmoor. T hey are all livestock friendly, as in they don’t chase sheep or ponies. When it comes to cows I try and avoid them at all costs, whether they have calves or not. Last week I had been on a really lovely hike, it was a hot day and I was glad to get back to the car. however, when I approached my car I could see it was entirely surrounded by cows who had been drinking at the nearby stream. Not wanting to go anywhere near them with my dogs I sat and waited, or rather hoped, that they would finish drinking and shove off. Not so, I sat out of sight where i could see them but they couldn’t see me. In the end I decided I could only ring my husband and get him to come out, get my keys and reverse over the moorland to me so I could get the dogs in the car without the cows seeing them which is exactly what I did. I know that if you feel threatened to let the dogs lead go, I know all the right things when it comes to cows and what not to do. My worry is what if this happens again? I have never had it happen in 21 years of walking on the moor. today I went to the low moor where i know there are rarely cattle grazed and guess what? a bloody herd was there, I feel there’s no getting away from them at the moment. I am aware of grazing rights but what about the rights of the general public? I have in the past been chased by a cow when I was more than a quarter of a mile away from them. yet I have also sat high up on a rocky outcrop and watched as a walker with a dog walked right through a bunch of cows with calves and the cows did nothing. hence there unpredictable tag. Are the cows grazed on dartmoor generally of a placid nature? Not that I plan on getting better acquainted with them, would you have done what I did when faced with an entire herd surrounding your car? I counted at least 45 cows. your advice would be of interest to me.

Many thanks Beverley Morris (Mrs).

August 31st 2011

Hello I have just been on your site and read about Wheal Betsy, I have information that the mine started about 1720-25, although it was reputed to have started earlier. The report I found was in the Kalmeter Journal transcribed by Justin Brook, there is also another reference in the Brook index which he says could relate to Betsy around 1720. Hope that is some help for you, A friend and myself are doing a publication on Friendship and Betsy.

Regards Greg Bradbury

August 28th 2011

Hi Tim,

Just to say thanks for your fantastic Legendary Dartmoor website. It’s my #1 place to find a huge amount of really excellent and invaluable info!!

I spend quite a lot of time on the moor, either wild camping with mates or visiting on daytrips with friends and family, and use your site all the time for finding interesting places to visit or for taking GPS co-ords to plan routes etc. Really interesting too just to hunt down some info behind local features or well/lesser-known landmarks.

Dartmoor is such an addictive place and the more I know about it the more I want to go back and check things out. I love the ‘history and mystery’ tag for your site too – that’s what Dartmoor is all about for me. That, and dramatic old pictures like the one on your homepage. I was out this weekend and the scenery around Oke tor and Steeperton wasn’t far off (with a pinch of imagination) with the stormy clouds and changing light. Great stuff! I’m sure you’ve got stacks of pics but if you ever want more…!

I’m a ‘friend’ via your Facebook site too and enjoy getting the updates on new stuff. Keep up the good work – it’s much appreciated.

Many thanks Iain.

August 23rd 2011

Tim, I’m attaching a picture of a small cross which has recently come to my attention. I found it on Stoneslade Tor at GR 709783 after seeing a picture of it on Flickr by someone called Bridgemaker Tim. I don’t know anything about it and wondered if you do. I didn’t measure it but it is smaller than any other that I’ve seen. Fran – see HERE

Sorry, I have no idea who, what or why – any information gratefully recieved.

August 22nd 2011.

Hello Tim,

My name is Jo and I run a group in Plymouth called Skeptics in the Pub, we are part of a larger international network of groups that hold monthly events. Every month we have a get together at a local bar with a speaker and I was wondering if you would like to come and impart some of your amazing knowledge of Dartmoor and it’s myths and legends? We cannot unfortunately at this time offer a fee for speaking as we work entirely on donations, but we do endeavour to cover any expenses, dinner and a drink or two, it’s a very relaxed atmosphere.

I hope this has piqued an interest and we can work something out, our website can be found here where details of our upcoming and past events can be found and we have an active group on Facebook

Hope to hear from you soon,

Kind regards, Jo

August 20th 2011

Hi Tim,

I just came across ‘Legendary Dartmoor’ whilst googling for info about Combestone Tor. I actually already have your website addy in my ‘local history’ folder from a visit several years ago, but like many shortcuts, I forgot I that had it amongst all the other stuff!

Anyway, I just wanted to show my appreciation for all the knowledge and hard work that you’ve put into your site. Also, I have put a link to it in my own website ‘Past Remains’, which mostly consists of architectural, historical and derelict sites in East Devon & West Dorset (amongst a few others further afield). Like yourself, I enjoy adding personal anecdotes and the way that I see things from my own personal viewpoint…something that I really enjoyed reading in your site. I loved the story of the old man who sat by you at Combestone Tor.

Enough wittering! lol. Just a thank you and hello.

Cheers, Eileen

July 31st 2011

Hello. Just read your page on the Mary Line. We believe that on its way from Gidleigh to Spinsters Rock it runs through the village of Murchington. In Murchington there is a small enclave of houses called St. Olaves. I recently laid a ruler across a map from St. Michaels Mount through Glastonbury. This line runs near enough through Murchington – but here is the strange thing. Where the line breaks out of the East Coast of England between Gt Yarmouth and Lowestoft, it passes through a small place called St.Olaves. Coincidence or planned?

John W. West

July 26th 2011

Dear Mr Sandles,

I am a thirteen year old boy with a passion for history, especially Dartmoor’s. I was wondering if you knew of Snailey House, and if you were aware if there are any books on the subject.

Regards, Kieran Landregan

P.S. I have also created a site on Dartmoor, it is new, so there is not much on there, here’s the link:

July 25th 2011


Thank you so much for your lovely information about Sheepstor Church. My family came from there many many years ago and your description brought it to life for me. The family was George Luscombe in 1827. I went on to look at the Piskies cave photo and the link no longer works – I just thought I would let you know.

Thanks again, Di Woodstock, Queensland Australia

July 16th 2011

Hi Tim,

I wrote to you previously about my new (ish) Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks site. The immediate aim of the website is to give brief information on how to locate prehistoric sites using public transport (a section possibly added since I was last in touch on that subject) and give some photos and a very brief description of the sites. When I get time – may take a long while – I would like to expand the descriptions to delve a bit deeper in archaeological terms. In the mean time I thought you might be interested in the following pages recently expanded (or added) which attempt this:

Spinsters’ Rock

My interpretation is that Swete observed cairn circles – but I’m not an expert! I would welcome a second opinion from yourself or anyone! Either way, I think it is good evidence that there was once prehistoric remains on Shilstone Common possibly a “ceremonial complex”.

The other page that might be of interest is:

Lakehead Hill Cairn Circles, Cists and Settlements

Keep up the good work! cheers, Dave Parks Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks

July 11th 2011

My mother claims that my Father wart charmer. Something to do with local Suffolk folklore! He did have the tendency to catch a lot of eels when I was a young lad ,but I regarded this as a food source, as they have a particular pleasant taste. Unfortunately my father has since passed away ,so we will never know! If he was he was not a good one!

July 11th 2011

I emailed you some time ago about the above and my husband has recently found the following information at Greens onscreen: complete history of Plymouth Argyle

Author Roger Walters

1888-89 “Home ground at Mount Gould

Charles Edward Brittan joined the Argyle Football Club for the 1888-89 season Brittan became a very good footballer for the club and was soon to become famous as an artist of Dartmoor and Scottish landscapes. Queen Mary, wife of King George V bought a number of his Scottish paintings and has illustrated an edition of the novel “Lorna Doone”

1890-91 Argyle in decline

The ground at marsh Mills was not secured for this season but a ‘home’ was found on land next to Cattedown Road, on the corner of where South Milton Street was later built. The elected Captain was argyle’s speedy top goal scorer Alfred Hole Shilston and Vice captain was Charles Edward Brittan They must have been very good friends; Brittan married a member of the Shilston family

Hope that this will be of interest to you regards Thelma Grunnell,

July 8th 2011

hello my name is jenny and i along with a lady called Mary run a dartmoor hill pony rehoming rescue. we are in the middle of building a website for ourselves and i was wondering if I may be cheeky to borrow a bit of info off your site on the dartmoor ponies. it is so well written. I would also like to put a bit on the page suggesting to have a look at your website as I have done links before to your website when we did our last appeal on facebook for name ideas for the ponies that got saved. I look forward to hearing from you

Jenny – H.O.P.E Dartmoor hill pony rescue

June 29th 2011

Hi, to the webmaster, Thanks for the listing in your comments page, re., my web/blog > I wish to add a link from my site to your site, as I am getting many visits each day now. Will this be OK with you?

Regards from Robin.

June 29th 2011

Hi Tim,

I hope you’re well. My name is Jason and I’m the Assistant Producer on an upcoming E4 comedy series called Show & Tell, which will air on UK television in September. The premise of the show is that each week three comedians will bring things to show the audience and then tell them about (pretty self explanatory!). As it happens, one of the comic guests has asked if his show and tell can be about Dartmoor myths and urban legends, as he was raised in the area. One of the myths he wanted to reference was the story of the devil visiting Dartmoor and he wanted to show the following still of the four fields where a gambler apparently dropped his cards

I am writing to you then to ask for your written permission that you are okay with use this still on the show. If you can let me know whether you wish to grant us this permission and the production manager will email you a release form which we will ask you to sign and send back.

If you have any questions then please contact me.

Many Thanks, Jason

June 25th 2011

Dear Tim , Out of courtesy just thought I’d let you know I’ve linked to your site from the Dartmoor Musts section of my site Really enjoy your site

Regards, Mark

June 20th 2011

Hi there, Do you know if swaling on Dartmoor took place during the Second World War or if it was forbidden due to alerting the Luftwaffe to targets.

Thanks C Dugmore

May 29th 2011

Hi Tim,

Congratulations on a fantastic website. There are so many things i did not know about Dartmoor, and i have lived on it’s doorstep all of my life. I am a keen photographer, Dartmoor being a favourite subject. Have walked the Abbots Way a couple of times, a pretty tough trek.

Regards Steve Hicks.

May 22nd 2011

Dear Tim

I am doing some research on a picture I have and it is by an artist F J Widgery and titled Cross on Dartmoor. I have done some research and discovered that there are many crosses on Dartmoor. Given you are clearly an expert in this area, I was wondering if you could tell me which cross this is? Your assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely, Darren McMillan

May 21st 2011

Hi, Just to say thank you for the website – found it enchanting and so informative, plus as I’ve not been living here for very long it has given a lot of inspiration for Dartmoor walks, and explained such a lot of the local heritage and history.

Liz Hobson

May 19th 2011

Hi went on your site to have a quick dartmoor dash for three days….feeling where to visit………i used to live in Princetown for ten years……. now in Longrock, Penzance…….your site is brilliant, so much stuff on it .WELL DONE ITS STUNNING….LOTS OF INFO……..IMPRESSIVE. enjoy your walking, sure there is still plenty of years in you yet………..take care sue x

April 26th 2011

I was pleased and surprised to discover your website. The section about the WWII crash sites was most interesting for me personally. My uncle, Samuel L. Craig, lost his life in the B17 crash on December 25, 1943. I was quite touched to see the picture of the plaque with his name and the names of his crew members. I am curious if you know who would have had the plaque placed at the crash site.

Thank you so much for sharing this tribute.

Regards, Jane Craig Sullivan

April 13th 2011


I am interested in the piece on your website about simnel cake. Can you tell me more about it please? If you could give me a call as soon as you can I would be really grateful,

Thanks Amy – Researcher The One Show, BBC1

April 8th 2011

(Warts) Hi We have a horse with sarcoids which is having to be destroyed because they are so bad. Is there any way you can help?

Please contact Wendy

April 5th 2011

Dear Sir/Madam

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the information about Okehampton Castle on your site. Could you please tell me the name of the author of these notes.

Thank you, Geoffrey Smith

April 4th 2011

To whom it may concern; I’m casting for a new ITV1 cookery series titled There’s No Taste Like Home. It’s a programme where the stories behind the dishes are key. I thought there may be a traditional Dartmoor Veal dish or some other animal that inhabits the moor. Please do get in touch if you yourself have a dish or you know of anyone.

Best regards, Michael

April 3rd 2011

Hi Tim, I’ve just found your website by chance when doing some research on Clarence Spooner. Very interesting and obviously something of a labour of love! I should explain that the research relates to my desire to write a history of hunting on Dartmoor as a retirement project. I was landlord of the East Dart Hotel for just short of ten years and used to hunt with all four packs of hounds on Dartmoor. Having sold the EDH in 2007 I presently own Dartfordleigh, just up the lane behind the hotel. Needless to say I know Tom and Liz very well and you’ll probably be interested to hear that a great deal of the information for Tom’s “Dartmoor Tin Mines and Miners” was garnered from my relatives. My grandfather Freddie Warne, all my great uncles, my father and his brother Gillie Warne all worked in the mines. I have copy of an article written in 1961 about my grandfather entitled “The last Tin Miner leaves Dartmoor” which I would be glad to provide you a copy of. He ended his work as a miner working at Hensroost Mine, Hexworthy, until the day it closed in 1935. I also had the pleasure of hosting the launch for Reg Bellamy’s book

I note your interest in Dartmoor memorabilia and have some pieces at home which I doubt you’ll have seen before. Two cups, saucers and plates, hand painted and identified as Dartmoor Ware, two very good quality chine mugs, one showing an illustration of the East dart Hotel and the other the Clapper Bridge. My assumption is that they were commissioned by my great uncle Soloman Warne when he had the EDH in the 1930’s.

Best Regards Alex Warne

March 31st 2011

Hi. I thought you may be interested in my ‘Ancient Heart Symbol’ study as it relates to an interpretation of the ‘Merrivale Ceremonial Centre’ which you have featured on your own web site. For information on my study please visit >

Kind regards from Robin

Thanks Robin, an interesting theory, I wonder if it can be applied to the other ceremonial complexes dotted around the moor?

March 30th 2011

Hi, just reading about the Powder Mills as there is a webcam there showing, for me, the weather in the area. I note you have a picture of a bill for powder to Steeperton Tor Tin Mine. The website says it shows the cost to be 40/- for 25lbs of powder but actually it shows the cost as 40/- for 100lbs of powder and thus the cost for 25lbs was 10 shillings and the cost of the 50lbs was £1 ( maybe you are too young to remember that there were 20 shillings in a pound )

Keep up the good work.

Best regards, Sally Moore

Thanks Sally, the page is now amended.

March 29th 2011

Hi I’ve being looking on your web site about Bennett’s Cross as it appears in a manuscript of my Grandfathers life on the moors in the 1950’s as a mobile greengrocer. If I get it published, can I use the photo and copyright as detailed below?

I’m also looking for any old photos of the area, in particular their home which was called Kings Oven and about ¼-mile from Warren House Inn – I have attached the only photo I have

Thanks, Mark Winterburn

March 26th 2011


I was recently walking on North Dartmoor near Okehampton, up the Meldon valley towards Lint Tor, west of High Willhays when I came across some aircraft wreckage. It appears to be quite old, including parts of wing, fuselage & a substantial radial engine. On returning home I did some research & came across your interesting website. I didn’t know if you were aware of this crash site plus I also took some photos which I wondered if you may be interested in for your website?

Regards, Charlie Molyneux

March 23rd 2011

Hi Tim,

Last year I was driving across Dartmoor to Princetown (after missing a turning on the road I decided to drive through Dartmoor the long way following my sat nav)….and I witnessed a open carriage with at least 4 maybe 6 horses appear from nowhere and towards me….now I was scared and thought this was not right…they glowed a silver grey but had no lights or hi-viz night riding jackets etc….knowing it was a ghostly experience I could not explain rationally why a horse and carriage would be out in the dark at night…..I stared straight ahead so as not to see it as it went past (I felt it pass and was glad it stayed to the LHS side of the road and did not pass through me as I feared/dread would happen ) and dared not to look in my mirror….deciding not to tell anyone I kept my speed up (concentrating on the road…I did not want to be stuck on the moors that night) til arriving at Plume of Feathers in Princetown.

Strangely I was not scared (having lived as a child in Smarden, Kent) but it did freak me out and it is still a vivid memory….

Is this a regular siting on Dartmoor? Can you offer any rational explanation? Do grey horse drawn carriages really ride along Dartmoor at 10:30/11pm at night?

Kind Regards, Mark Barton

March 22nd 2011

Hello Tim

Did you the Travellers Ford Cross has gone missing. It has been missing for about a month.

All the best


March 16th 2011

Hello Mr Sandles,

We are university students making a documentary at the college of St mark and St John in Plymouth about dartmoor legends, focusing on Jays Grave, hairy hands and the devil in Widecombe. We have read through your web page on Jays grave and find it very interesting and relevant to what we are trying to achieve in our documentary and filmmaking module. We would very much appreciate your time as an expert on these topics to meet up for a chat that would feature in our documentary. Is this at all possible and may we ask where you are located?

Many thanks, Thomas Isherwood

March 8th 2011

I am currently doing a photography project on unknown creatures around Britain. I have done a few now but really want to focus on the many sightings around Devon which I have found on your website and heard about. Do you know any contacts, or how I could get in touch with someone who could help.

Thank you


March 8th 2011

Greetings from Patty in Australia!

I find your website most fascinating and informative. Thank you for covering so many aspects of Dartmoor in such an interesting and entertaining way. You are doing an excellent job!

My sister lives in Tavistock, and she shows me the stunning beauty of Dartmoor each time I visit her. I have gotten to know parts of the Moor like an old friend. At this point, I’ve decided to venture beyond its beauty and learn a little about its history.

Is there anyone at Dartmoorlander who can tell me how and when the tors got their original (ancient) names? It would be interesting to know exactly who named them, if this can be found out. Also, did King Henry III commission such thing as a map to be drawn up, following the 1210 Perambulation? If so, it’s likely to have been the forerunner of all other maps that have been produced of this area.

Any info on these subjects would be gratefully received, and I thank you in anticipation.

Have a good day! With best wishes from Patty Van der Heyden (Mrs).

March 4th 2011

Hi My wife and i went to Hensroost Mine the other day and found this small cross with a persons name and dates of birth and death on a piece of copper sheeting have you any idea who this person might be, one of the miners perhaps who lived to 104 ,and who put this cross there thank you for any help S Thomson

March 2nd 2011


When we last visited Hensroost Mine we came across a small wooden cross inscribed on a bit of copper sheet the name and date of a man who was of great age.

Any ideas who this man was and who put the cross there

Steve Thomson

February 22nd 2011

Hi can you give directions from A30 to Moute’s Inn – Does the pub have a phone number?


Rod Sumpter

Yes I can, park in any lay-by and head south, sadly the Inn has no phone and they are waiting for Virgin Media

to install the cable before they can converse with the outside world.

February 20th 2011

Dear Tim,

I am returning to Dartmoor after too long an absence, with my teenage son, Friday and Saturday next. In planning, I happened across your web site and note that the road to OP 15 etc is closed, alas. How far, and from where, can I drive (Landrover) on to the moor using the range roads?

Indeed, these roads were of great benefit to walkers. I recall, back in about 1979, having slogged for hours, reaching OP15, only to find civvie cars and picnics happening! I was not amused at the time, but now can see the benefit of using these roads!

I am aware of the firing schedule for the week.

— Philip Dobson

February 19th 2011


I wonder whether you could solve a mystery that I came across whilst walking on Dartmoor today. I have been walking the moors since the mid 70s and don’t recall seeing this antiquity before. Coming from Nuns Cross Farm, after crossing the footbridge I started ascending Crane Hill and on its lower northern slopes I came across a large granite boulder with a bronze cross about 12 inches high cemented into the top of it. Have you come across this before and do you know its purpose. Obviously, nearby you have many stone crosses to mark the Monks Way i.e. Ter Hill crosses and then Goldsmith’s cross and Siward’s cross but they are all made of stone. I look forward to hearing from you.

Oh – great website, it would be great to publish this works sometime, or better still have it available as a downloadable file that could be stored on a Satmap or something similar as a walking encyclopaedia.


Kevin Bastow.

See – Northmore’s Cross page

February 18th 2011

Tim, I read your page (Dartmoor Cereals) with interest. I live in Holsworthy and have found a source of heritage cereal varieties and would love to grow some here but I cannot find any way of identifying specifically local varieties. I was wondering if names were given in the research you did? It would be lovely to resurrect some here!


February 15th 2011

Hallo my name is Alexander Schönbach, I’m a watchmaker from Paderborn in Germany. Like you we have the Three Hares symbol in our town. I made for some personal reason the decision to build a Three Hares watch with the Three Hares as a turning second hand above the dial of a wrist watch. My English is not that good to describe it very well. So maybe it should be better if you are interested to look on my webpage. If you are looking under news and further on: ältere Beiträge you will find more of my models. I could offer you a special individual exclusive series for you. Maybe it is interesting for you, all the best, Alexander Schönbach

February 3rd 2011

Good afternoon!

I am writing in reference to the green man symbol that you have on your wonderful website.

I have just moved down to Dartmoor to help rescue a family business and think that the green man symbol would be good for some of our promotion. I am really useless at graphic design and wondered if I could use one of your images please? I would happily put a link to your website up on ours. The symbol is the green man symbol that runs down the left hand side of the page.

Kind regards, Naomi

February 2nd 2011

Two things, 1. I am a dowser and next month I am giving a talk on Earth Energy and the Energy Lines at Brentor Church to and in aid of the Friends of the Church. With luck I will be screening several pictures and drawings to accompany all the boring words. Would you be kind enough to give permission for me to use a couple of the pictures on the Brentor Church page ? in particular that dramatic old print at the top of the page. Do you happen to know the original date of that page ? 2. Would you be interested in an article on the above or some variation on it for fitting somewhere into your Web Site, a link to the Devon Dowsers Site might be a help to both.

Rodney Smith, Lydford.

January 30th 2011


Firstly I love the website it’s a brilliant collection of dartmoor Knowledge and I was wondering if you happen to know any dartmoor tales involving Romans on the Moors. Also have you experienced any supernatural activity on the moors? It’s a fascinating subject for me one which I am exploring within the medium of Stained glass.

Thanks, Matt

January 26th 2011

Many thanks for a great introduction to Dartmoor. As one who is trying to gather info on a specific area of Dartmoor it would be useful if you included location maps of the various features you describe. ie Rocks and Stones – if there was a map showing the location of each title it would save clicking on each one individually to see if it was near to where I’ll be based or if it was near to other some places of interest that could be visited at the same time. I know you give the grid references – which is very helpful – but a map puts locations in context one with another. Otherwise an excellent and absorbing website.

Chris Cater

Thanks for your comments, there are two main problems with including maps; firstly the OS charge about £100 for a single map placement license and I simply cannot afford that. Secondly, the way around that is to draw my own map by over tracing the OS map at a proportional scale and that takes a lot of time which again I do not have. Maybe one thing you can do is to compile a data map using Memory Map (or a similar programme) and pin point every feature as you come across them, I have done this but there is no way I am making that public due to the time and effort it has taken to build up over the years.. The other alternative is to physically write each features’ location on an OS map, again I have done this but over time the map wears out. A good starting point if you can get a copy is Mike Brown’s Gazetteer of Dartmoor Place Names.

January 18th 2011


We found your website very inspirational. Now we have built the first clapper in Van Dieman’s Land. So far it has stood up to the floods. We hope to build some more in the future.

Cheers, David Beaver B L Arch AILA, registered Landscape Architect.

Thanks David, glad to be of help – to see the Tasmanian clapper click – HERE

January 7th 2011

Dear Legendary Dartmoor!

I was wondering if you would consider swapping links with It would be good if you could add it to your towns and villages links and we can add your link to our page on Dartmoor Myths and Legends.

Many thanks, Katheryn

January 7th 2011

Dear Tim,

I have just been catching up on your website and was rather disappointed to note your comments on the new-look Dartmoor Magazine and, in particular, your comment regarding Sue Viccars herself also being the Editor of Dartmoor – the Country Magazine which was discontinued by Halsgrove. I would like to point out that Sue had nothing to do with its demise, it was discontinued as it was simply a smaller profit earner and they wished to concentrate on other publications which were earning a larger income. Her experience as a writer and Editor in many fields, her knowledge of Dartmoor and the fact that she lives in Moretonhampstead prompted Edgemoor Publishing to invite her to be their Editor and they could not have made a better choice.

I was delighted and proud to write for Elisabeth (A series on the Dartmoor Novels of Eden Phillpotts) when the Magazine belonged to her and I, too, have every copy except the very first – No.1. I enjoyed writing for Devon Life for eight years, and also for Dartmoor, the Country Magazine mainly on the people who lived on the moor, although I do not consider myself in any way an expert on the moor, merely a knowledgeable devotee. Today I enjoy writing for the new-look Magazine and applaud the way they have broadened the whole outlook of the Magazine without encroaching on its integrity. The aim is to widen the appeal by highlighting all aspects of life on Dartmoor of which Art and Food are very much a part. It is a lived-in environment in which the events of village life and the people who live here add significantly to the patchwork of Dartmoor as a whole. It will show to those people contemplating a holiday here that Dartmoor, as well as the beautiful scenery and antiquities which are frequently featured, also has a warm-hearted community, excellent food, and a very individual Art and theatre culture. I think it was Tom Greeves himself who first awakened my interest in Dartmoor people as they featured time and time again in the lectures he gave that I attended at Tavistock College during our initial years here and it is an interest which continues to this day as we have made a great many friends amongst Dartmoor residents while we have been writing, photographing and researching the moor.

I would also add that I, too, read Dartmoor News and it is indeed an excellent publication whose editor is also a friend and who has far too much integrity to make personal and unfounded remarks about other Editors.

Your website will need to be updated again on the advent of the Dartmoor On Line website – an excellent site run by Tom and Elisabeth Greeves and available on subscription.

Janet Palmer

Thank you for your comments, sorry for the delay in posting this but I am trying to work out whether you have sent me an email or your curriculum vitae? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I have stated mine and now you have stated yours. As an editor I would suggest that ultimately it is their responsibility to ensure the success of the publication, therefore if it fails because it was a ‘smaller profit earner’ then that would suggest not enough people were reading it. This in turn would point to a lack of leadership and initiative on behalf of the editor who was clearly directing the publication in a way that did not appeal to its readers. Please do not presume to tell me what I need to update on my own website, there are numerous things that I need to update and Dartmoor On Line is not one of them.

January 3rd 2011

I am just dropping an email to thank you for the hard work you have put into your web site. I started letterboxing as a child in the mid eighties and it looks like things have changed some what now that I have decided to take it up again. I have spent several days reading your articles and and have found them most helpful. I am interested in finding out more about the “word of mouth” boxes in time.
Thanks again, Lee “Dartmoor Challenger”

December 22nd 2010


I am from Plymouth and I just came to know some interesting point about Jays Grave and I would like to come and see it …Could you please give the the rough location and direction to that place please….it would be great and much appreciate. Thank you very much. Byyyeee

December 9th 2010

Hi Tim,

I thought I would just say hi and thanks for your website. I spend lots of my time on the moor camping and shooting landscapes, but I often check out your site for more info, read stories behind place names and generally brush up on my Dartmoor knowledge. Thanks for putting all the work into creating this amazing resource.

All the best, Alex Nail Photography Landscapes of Dartmoor and Devon

December 2nd 2010

Hi, Can you help please. Found this book (White Knight, Catherine Parr) and noticed reference on your site but no date: trying to determine why my family held it : wondered if you have determined the date of publication (no reference within the publication)? Time links could be 1916, 1918/19, 1962 though 2/- seems a lot for those times?

Kind regards, Chris – Brisbane

November 28th 2010

I live outside Camelford, a couple of miles from Roughtor and Brown Willy on Bodmin Moor. I have heard there is a row of standing stones on Dartmoor that lines up with either Roughtor or Brown Willy. Unfortunately this was in a passing conversation and I cannot track down the person who told me and haven’t found them on line. Do you happen to know the stones referred to and where they are?
Regards Caroline

November 22nd 2010

Hello Mr Sandles,

I hope you can help me. I work on the forward planning desk for the West Country Tonight regional news programme on ITV and we’re looking at how best to cover the Vixen Tor inquiry which starts tomorrow. I was hoping you might be able to give me some more detail about whether anyone will be campaigning at the inquiry, and whether you might be able to talk to us about the issue. Ideally we’d like to record something on Dartmoor so I don’t know whether you might be open to having a chat to us about it and maybe meeting us up there for a quick interview? We were also hoping to get in touch with the landowner to see if we might be able to go and film on the land itself, I don’t suppose you know how I’d be able to get hold of her? I’d really appreciate any other contacts you can pass on of people it might be good for us to talk to.

Many thanks, this is much appreciated, Helen

November 20th 2010

Found Your homepage and immediately decided to ask You the same question I sent to the Monks at the Abbey a week ago (without any proper answer).
Three years ago my wife and I visited Cornwall to see Tintagel and stayed one night at the Dartbridge Inn to let my wife once more see the house in Paignton where she as a schoolgirl stayed a short summer during her “language-tour” in 1964. We found the house(!) and later that day going back we also found a funny thing in the pond outside the Upper Mill at Buckfastleigh Abbey just opposite the carpark. A green sea-serpent with ears or horns(?) swimming in it’s steel-skeleton and willow leaves. I was quite stunned as we here in my part of Sweden has a lore of a huge eel, 10 feet long and thick as a mans thigh, wearing two horns on it’s head; and impossible to kill. There was a perfect match, except for the colour (ours is supposed to be dark grey; nobody has seen it though through the years we have had one or two persons who’s hair turned grey overnight…).
Do You happen to know anything about the story behind or a tradition regarding this Buckfastleigh monster (looks very kind, though)? I would very much appreciate any information, as I am making research about our local traditions here and would like to write about them. Specially the horn-eel, which ever since our foremost Swedish humorist, native from the same area as the eel, wrote about it in a book which overnight made it a national celebrity (since 1932).
I took some pictures of it when I was there which I could send if You wish, but first I’m curious to hear whether there is a local tradition (and I have understood the the Dartmoor area is full of them) and where I could read more about it?
I would very much appreciate any form of information or help!
Thank You and best regards from southernmost Sweden. Christian Irhammar f.s.e.
November 14th 2010

Hi !
Just read the item and think the fish was a pacu . Same family as the piranha, looks the same but is vegetarian ! Very popular fish in fishing ponds in Thailand and we catch them on bits of banana !Aquarium keepers often have them as I believe that the toothy ones are prohibited in most countries for private ownership .The fact that it was fed on sweetcorn seems to confirm this
Cheers Pete
November 11th 2010

Hi Tim, My name’s Rebeka and I’ve found great pleasure in reading many of the old tales about where I live/lived on Dartmoor and all the surrounding areas we’ve visited but never known much about. We used to live between Princetown and Yelverton and now we live out by Launceston on the border between the two counties. As a 17 year old girl I’m intrigued by many a tale written on your wonderful website! I see myself as a wiccan/pagan and though I don’t practice many of the rituals, I hold a strong belief of all Lores and customs accompanying the old ways. I would never have known any of the things I do now if it hadn’t been for you and your lovely cabinet of wonders held on your website. I’m ashamed to say I have been a very silly girl on the odd family celebration and met the infamous badger of Tavistock. I went to college in Tavistock and have friends living in both the famous stannary town and many of the surrounding villages such as Mary Tavy, Princetown, Lydford, Lamerton etc… and I find myself becoming quite giddy knowing all the tales I now have as to be able to scare them into staying at home at night and not roaming the moors like naughty children. I want to thank you for painting me an extremely colourful picture of the land I now live on (coming a fair way down the road from busy Cambridge) and giving me a bigger picture of the dangers that lay across every square inch of the lush grasses and fields that I pass every day. Again, thank you ever so much for all the information you have provided in your website and giving me new understanding to the traditions and lores belonging to and surrounding my new home.

Regards, Rebeka.

November 10th 2010


I just read with great interest your piece on the lost chapel of Halstock. I don’t know if you’re aware, but in 840AD Aethelwulf, king of Wessex, granted 15 hides to Eadberht, deacon, at Halstock, Devon. John Blair, in The church in Anglo-Saxon society, says the grant was ‘for the honour of Almighty God and for the love of St Michael the Archangel whose church is in that little minster’. Blair and others reckon that Halstock is actually the Dorset Halstock, even though The Electronic Sawyer website definitely says Devon, and Halstock in Dorset has no record of a church dedicated to St Michael. Couldn’t the lost chapel of Halstock be the ‘the little minster’ dedicated to St Michael that Aethelwulf refers to?

Cheers, Robin Melrose

October 13th 2010

Hello, You quote the first four lines of a poem which begins “Thar be piskies up on Dartymoor”. Do you have the full version? Can you send me a copy or point me to where I can find it please? I married a Devonshire Maid who had her eightieth birthday on October 25th and I am putting together an album of photographs for her and would like to include the poem which we have known about since 1949. Thanks in anticipation. Ted Hartshorn – full version – HERE

October 28th 2010

Hi, I am currently carrying out a survey on some of the trig points on Dartmoor as part of my final year project at Plymouth University. I am finding out the accuracies of different survey methods which involves knowing the heights of the trig points I am surveying. I wonder if you could tell me where the heights that you have on your website have come from so I can know how accurate they are seeing as I am measuring to millimetre accuracy! Any help would be greatly appreciated Thanks in advance,

Richard Green

October 28th 2010

Hi im looking for some information on an old cross that i think dates back 600 to 700 years i have found out so far that it is Russian and belonged to the monks, if you can help and need more info i will send you the information i have so far. Thank You, Kelly.

October 10th 2010

Dear Tim,

Whilst researching recipes for my first batch of Sloe gin, I came across your site. It was a very interesting read and having grown up near Dartmoor, I have always found it to be a fascinating place. I thoroughly enjoyed your amusing tale of the Tavistock Badger so much, that I would like to share the tale with the visitors to my big food blog.

Please visit,, where I have included two links to your web site, along with a humble dedication to the Tavistock Badger, which I hope you will like.

Upon sharing my first bottle of Sloe Gin with my friends, I will certainly toast the first sip to the Tavistock Badger, before sharing your wonderful story with my friends.

Many thanks, Alex

October 7th 2010

Hi, I wonder if you can help me in my search for a myth or legend associated with Dartmoor. Many years ago, my wife and I and a couple of friends were visiting Dartmoor and for a bit of fun, after speaking to a landlord at one of the moor’s pubs, we decided to have a go at letterboxing. We purchased a few books on the subject, and set about our quest of letterboxing. We had moderate success, finding around 15 boxes during our 5 day stay!

However, in one of the books we purchased there was a section on myths and legends of Dartmoor. One story told of a newlyweds car breaking down on the road on Dartmoor. Whilst the husband went to seek help, the wife stayed in the car and kept hearing a knocking on the roof, it was pouring with rain, and when she got out of the car to investigate she found her husbands severed head on the roof of the car!

This was not the hairy hands story, but another one which I would love to find out more details. Sorry to be so vague, but if you know of this story I would be most grateful if you could let me have the details.

Thanking you in advance

Shane Stunel

October 1st 2010

Hi Tim,

I wanted to thank you for your Legendary Dartmoor website – it is a fantastic, interesting and useful resource on Dartmoor. I just wanted to let you know about my meagre efforts, a website put together over the last few months based on walks done over last 2 years:

Site Description: Walking the Antiquities of Dartmoor – a website that suggests walks for those interested in visiting the ancient settlements and antiquities of Dartmoor such as stone rows and stone circles.

The site may have its quirks – the routes are probably a little odd for car drivers but I deliberately set out to make the routes accessible for those using public transport (and car drives can use a map to find car parks and a shorter route!). Also some notable omissions – probably means I have not had a chance to visit them yet!

Anyway – I have linked to your site. I have also added direct links on a few pages which will probably increase as I fine tune the website. For example see: – that site is out of my narrower remit (prehistoric) and you cover anything I could possible want to say!

Anyway – if you feel inclined to link back I would appreciate it.

Cheers, Dave Parks

Dave’s website can be found – HERE

September 30th 2010

Dear Dartmoorlander, I have just visited the page on your web site concerning the engine house at Wheal Betsy. The reason for the curve in the chimney is due to the shrinkage of the mortar during building. As you will notice, the side that has ‘shrunk’ is the side facing the prevailing winds. The building was under threat of demolition on the invitation of Mr. Jack Smith, the then Mary Tavy Power Station manager. My brother learned of the impending proposed demolition and contacted a gentleman in Cornwall (probably Jenkins) with a view to initiating preservation. Fortunately the information was acted upon immediately and the engine house was saved.

With respect to Brunton’s Stack, it was members of the Regular Army who demolished it, using it as a training exercise. The snuff box missing from Plymouth Museum was last ‘understood’ to have been ‘taken’ to Australia. No knowledge of the individual concerned is known.

The adit driven from Wheal Friendship towards Betsy to drain Wheal Betsy was abandoned part way as there was concern that this would flood the workings of Wheal Friendship.

My father worked on Wheal Friendship tin floors. I was born in the village of Mary Tavy, and along with my elder brother, have always had an interest in the Wheal Friendship complex. Father, along with grandfather, eventually left to mine for gold in West Africa, (Broomassie Gold Mine), where grandfather obtained a job as Mill Manager.

Bennett’s headgear (wooden) was built by Bill Vosper, a mine carpenter. He lived in Station Road Mary Tavy. His later years were spent in the ‘Carpenter’s Shop’, immediately adjacent to Brookside, inside the mine property, – working as the village carpenter. The ‘shop’ (shed) was where the wooden barrels were originally made to hold the arsenic produced for export. The arsenic was used extensively in America to protect the cotton crops from bol weevil. Quite a potent insecticide!

I hope these little snippets of information have been of interest to you.

Sincerely, Gerry Sargent.

Many thanks for this wealth of information.

September 17th 2010

I defied this absurd and unfair road closure (for the second time since Oct 2009) today…if I hadn’t there is no way I could have reached my intended destination Cranmere Pool.

I hear that Landmark (the Govt Contractors for Range Management services etc) want some potholes filled on the Loop road as they have had their vehicles damaged due the worsening deep ruts which we all know could have been repaired at a fraction of the costs if done when they started to develop.

The loop road is of course now increasingly dangerous for cycles etc especially to those who don’t know it and those using it in dark/failing daylight…this alone is a good reason for the Duchy to do some repairs…look how well maintained cycle tracks on old Railways are these days!

There is a strong case for someone organising a Volunteer team to fund raise and maintain the loop road …it could be done ..but regrettably no one put this idea forward to the Duchy before they closed it in Sept 2009.

The Duchy have still not fully repaired the Moorgate to West Mill Tor road which is in one place in particular worse than any part of the Eastern Loop Road !

I hear a petition was being signed by people at Oke show this year.. do you know who organised this….what is happening etc?

September 7th 2010

Hi Just a short note to comment on your admirable site about the origins of the pasty. Although I see the venison was brought from Mount Edgecombe, it was not brought from Cornwall as Mount Edgecombe was in Devon in the 16th Century

Jeff Fogwill

September 3rd 2010

Hi Tim

I’ve just come across your fabulous website – crammed packed full of the mystery of Dartmoor. I’m writing a book on Dartmoor to be published by The History Press and wondered if you’d mind if I used some snippets from your website. I’ll acknowledge your site in the book if you would like.

Kind Regards, Michelle

September 1st 2010

Hi there,

I thought I would let you know something strange that I saw in back in 1995 on a holiday to Dartmoor.

My ,then, Boyfriend and I had just visited Combestone Tor and were turning left out of the roadside carpark. We were heading down the hill, towards Hangman’s pit where some trees hide the road & bridge. We both saw something white (we assumed to be a car!) coming down the road on the opposite side of the pit at a fair speed. The white thing disappeared behind the trees and my Boyfriend slowed down, as the road appeared to narrow, to allow the other car to pass safely. The “car” never materialised!!! Nothing had gone off to either side of the road or gone back up the road – it had simply disappeared! We knew, from the map, that the area was called hangman’s pit but did not realise a connection to a farmer, his lame horse and his subsequent suicide until I have seen your site 15 years later!!!

The experience was so alarming that it really has stayed with me for all of those years and I know my then-Boyfriend remembers it too!!!

Regards, Karen Webster

August 30th 2010

Hi Tim

Thank you so much for your excellent information on Garway Church. I came across the church completely unexpectedly on a walk from Skenfrith yesterday, had as good a look round as was allowed and researched it as soon as I got home. Your site is by far the most informative; I can’t wait to go back and see all the things I missed, fortunately I live a little nearer than Dartmoor.

Your information on Trellech’s three stones is also very interesting, although sadly the link to your illustrations wasn’t there

Anything else you have written on the area would be of great interest to me if you’d be kind enough to point me in the right direction

I see you’ve have done your dissertation and earned your MA, congratulations and thanks again

Best wishes, Tessa

August 26th 2010

Dear Sir

I have just visited your web-site and would like to ask your advice. I have two small watercolours of Dartmoor by Brittan which we can no longer display as we have recently moved to a smaller house. Do you know of any collectors or galleries who might be interested in purchasing them? I can provide photos of them if required.

I apologise if this is not your area of interest and for any inconvenience I have caused I look forward to your reply

Regards Robert Hall

August 26th 2010

Hi Tim,

Wondering if you might be interested in a discussion on ramblers on BBC Radio 5 live. Please give me a ring, or email back with a contact number and I’ll tell you more.

Regards, Michael

August 25th 2010

Hello Tim,

Firstly, what an excellent website. My Great Grandfather, and namesake, John James and his brother Thomas were both Warders at Dartmoor Convict Prison in the mid-late 1800s. One book that you might find of interest to add to the reading list is “A Prison Chaplain on Dartmoor” by The Rev. Clifford Rickards B.A., published by Edward Arnold, London, 1920. My copy is dated 1920, and came to me via my late Aunt. The book gives the Rev. Rickards’ reminiscences of 25 years experiences in the prison on Dartmoor.

Best regards, John James

August 24th 2010

Dear Mr Sandles

Please forgive my emailing you out of the blue. My name is Faaiza Ahmed and I am a researcher for Lion Television. We are currently making Edwardian Farm for BBC2, the follow up to Victorian Farm. In this series our three presenters are living and working on a farm in Devon, through which we are exploring social and technological advances in the Edwardian period.

In one of our episodes, our presenters discuss Candlemas. I came across your website after doing a Google search and noted you had written a page on Candlemas I was therefore wondering if you would be able to look over the following extracts from our script and confirm its accuracy?

Candlemas, the second of February, was seen as a watershed by the Edwardian farmer.”

“So if it rains at Candlemas then winter is over and the weather will improve. If not, winter will have another bite.”

Any information that you have regarding this would be most helpful.

Kind regards and I look forward to hearing from you. Faaiza Ahmed – Researcher Edwardian Farm

August 23rd 2010

Hi There,

I was disappointed by the barbed wire when I tried to access Vixen Tor. Afterward I enjoyed reading the story on your site. Thanks! I was able to fly my kite with an attached camera over the barbed wire, and take beautiful pictures. I feel that kites are free like birds, They can nor read and are nor hindered 😉 Maybe you will enjoy the pictures? – see HERE

Cheers, Hans Elbers, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

August 20th 2010

Thoroughly enjoyed reading about the bronze age round houses on your website. I’ve walked the moor for forty years and have always been intrigued by the hut circle remains. The question as to why the huts are round is interesting. The benefit of a circle over a square or rectangle is that mathematically, it offers the greatest floor area to wall circumference. Thus a round house offers maximum living area for the available materials. It is also easier to construct a circular based conical roof than a square or rectangular roof.

That made me think. Why are most modern houses square or rectangular? I believe that must be because you can’t divide up land into circles but you can divide it up easily into squares, like a chessboard. Land costs money and is at a premium these days. Our furniture all tends to be rectangular these days and that’s easier to procure. It’s expensive and tricky trying to fit out a room that is circular. MBA didn’t have this problem as they possessed such little furniture.

Tent design has moved from the traditional rectangular to the hemispherical phasor dome as technology has permitted easier construction of the strong hemispherical frames. A hemispheric frame was beyond the wit of MBA man and so a ‘tepee’ shaped and design roof was the easiest for them to procure. I suspect that some of them lived in just tepees prior to granite hut circles but the remains of these would no longer exist, like the rooves of the hut circles. They had to be replaced every 10 or 20 years even back then. What a wonderful place Dartmoor is.

Regards, Trevor Hill Taunton, Somerset

Thanks Trevor, it is interesting to note that although none have been found on Dartmoor, the Neolithic houses were rectangular and it was in the Middle Bronze Age that the design changed to that of a circle. It was also at this time that stone circles began appearing so maybe the house design reflected the religious belief in the circular icon???

August 17th 2010

Hello Tim,

Just wanted to drop you a line of thanks for your wonderful website concerning Dartmoor. I noticed this year you have not updated it so much as previously, I hope all is well. Your site over the years has given me a lot of joy, and no doubt will do so into the future.

Thanks for your kind comments, all is well just busy at work and believe it or not getting short of topics.

August 14th 2010

Hi, I have used your site for years and must applaud you. I have come across a dead end in my search for info on what I think may be an ancient burial site. Hopefully you might know of it, it lies north of Oakery Bridge, and just below the clapper bridge and prison sewer bridge on the Blackbrook ‘river’. It is an area that is raised some 3 ft above the surrounding area by a rock wall, it is lined around the edge with trees, has ‘mounds’ inside, and even an ‘entrance’ by the river with two rock ‘jambs’ and a capstone. I can’t seem to find any reference to this area and would love to find out more.

Yours hopefully, Del Williams, Princetown resident.

August 14th 2010

Having moved to the moor a couple of years ago I was delighted to find Legendary Dartmoor. Your website has become my first point of reference for everything Dartmoor – It’s rapidly become as indispensable as Wikipedia.


August 13th 2010

Hi Tim, I though you might be interested to know that I have taken it upon myself to try and document most of the features on Cut Hill, before they get forgotten with time. I have managed to do 14 so far but many more trips up there needed to get most of them. Sadly the pipes don’t seem to be there any more. I understand from Tracy (Tailchaser) that they may have been removed by the army some time ago.

Try out my new page, lot’s more to add when we can get up there again, hopefully soon – see HERE

Cheers, Paul

August 1tth 2010


Just wanted to say I really enjoyed reading your webpage. It was very interesting. The next time I travel to the UK, I am thinking of visiting Dartmoor because of all the fascinating things I read about it on your page.

Thank you!

August 5th 2010

Hi Mr Sandles

I’m writing a piece about the row over access to Vixen Tor for The Sunday Telegraph and I’d be interested in hearing your comments on the dispute. Are there any campaigners on the rambling/access side I should speak to and do you happen to have a contact number for Mrs Alford? Could you give me a call when you get the opportunity, preferably before Friday lunchtime.

Best wishes — Patrick Sawer – see article HERE

July 14th 2010

Good Morning, I am photo editor at FOCUS HISTORY , Italian monthly magazine. In the next issue we are going to publish an article about “Dartmoor – Yellowmead Stone Circle” and we would like to use the attached images. I would like to know who I have to contact to get the high res. Thank you for your kind cooperation, please respond at your earliest convenience.

Patrizia De Luca Photo editor

July 8th 2010

Dear Mr Sandles

Please forgive my emailing you out of the blue. My name is Faaiza Ahmed and I work for Lion Television and we are currently making the BBC series Edwardian Farm, the follow up series to the hugely successful Victorian Farm. We are filming on location in Devon and across the south-west with a specific look at agriculture during the Edwardian era.

I have come across your wonderful website on Dartmoor and was wondering whether you would be able to help me. I am researching some archive photographs and am looking for images of sett makers and moss gathering. If you have or know of anyone who has such images from the Edwardian period in a high resolution version, that would be most helpful.

Thank you very much and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards Faaiza

July 4th 2010

Hi there,

My name is Peter Chesbrough and I am currently compiling information for a book that I am writing which is set on Dartmoor. I have trawled through your brilliant website and found much of use, but there is one thing that I have heard of mentioned in a few places but cannot find a trace of on your website. This is the group known as the Walkhampton Hundred (or something similar). I’m sorry if you do have the info and I have just been unable to find it, but if you could let me know on anything you know of the subject it would be much appreciated.

Thank you – Peter Chesbrough

July 2nd 2010

Dear All

My name is Shaun Riley and I have just found your site on the B-17 that crashed on Oakhampton Moor. I am very interested in this wreck because 10 yrs ago while I was scuba diving in the Harwich Estuary I found also a B-17 buried in the mud, both pilots were MIA after much work I finally got it recovered and the pilots returned to their families. the pilot of this B-17 was Col Aber from the 406th night leaflet sqd, also Lt Harper was a spitfire pilot who transferred to USAAF. I believe the plane that you have on your moor is from the 406th bomb sqd as well? as it is mentioned in a book, I am re-building and restoring the back end of the B-17G `Tondalayo` 337516 JJT this was Col Abers personal B-17 which was painted entirely black, I would be very interested to know if there is any more wreckage that what is shown in the pictures? I’m not out to take nothing, just very interested in this aircraft as I believe it was stationed at Cheddington.

Really hope to hear from you – yours faithfully Shaun

June 30th 2010

Dear Sir

Today I stumbled across your site & it is absolutely beautiful what a fine testimony to the wonder that is Dartmoor. I am a folksinger & poet & I enclose a poem that I wrote for the Dartmoor Pony when their numbers were in decline, happily things are looking up now as they are appreciated through various schemes. I sponsor a pony through the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust & he is called Charlie !. Please feel free to use the poem if you wish

Yours Maggie Duffy – read the poem – HERE

June 28th 2010

Hi Tim

I enjoyed looking at your website about Dartmoor legends, particularly the piece on Trinnaman as I grew up in Ivybridge and spent a lot of time in long timber woods. I’m not sure if you are aware but the oak tree above the stone basin has been cut down. Someone has written a message to whomever cut it down on the tree stump which is interesting. I was wondering if you had any more information as to why it was cut down, it is a shame that a part of our history has been erased.

Regards Matt Willingham

June 18th 2010

Thought you might like to see a watercolour of (Pixies Cross) my grandfathers painted in 1918 – See attached
Ian Warburton (Cheshire)
May 21st 2010

Dear Dartmoorlander,

as I read your section on witchcraft in Dartmoor I stumbled on something that might interest you: The famous modern witch Stewart Farrar seems to have located one of his novels – called ‘The Twelve Maidens’ – in your area. Stewart Farrar was one of the leading high priests responsible for the rise of the modern witch-religion Wicca. His novel was published in the early 1970s, it deals with a fight between good and evil witches. The evil ones occupying the ‘Twelve Maidens’, a circle of stones located close to a town called “Bewlay” in “the high Devon moors”. I could not find a place by the name of “Bewlay” online, this may be fiction. However, The Twelve Maidens bear a strong resemblance, of course, to the Nine Maidens. The novel is one of the most famous of the Wicca-Religion, I suppose it is well known amongst modern witches, so it might be a reason for occurring rituals… . Animal sacrifice and the usage of human hair for magic, as your section on witchcraft mentions, does play a role in the novel.

Perhaps you already knew this, but I could not keep that to myself. If you need any more information about this, please let me know.

Kind Regards,

Martin Geilfus

May 21st 2010


I’m looking for ‘things’ of interest about Dartmoor and your superb site stops me from looking further. Now, these ‘things’ I’d like to include in two pages of my book; Saddle the Wind.

Saddle is my 35,551 word m/s set on the moors. At this stage I’ll publish myself, after penguin ‘knocked it back’ only because they wanted a minimum of 60,000 words. And as I’d started on the 2nd Saddle adventure; additions spoilt, in my opinion, a follow-up story.

I ask if I may use-with ‘acknowledgements into source’ some of your text and maybe illustrations? That said, I haven’t yet looked in great detail at the site’s complete content, and before doing so need to know if I can use some of it..

Below the foreword of Saddle the Wind. I’ve also written a 90-page screenplay of Saddle.

Thank You, Ron Shears

May 5th 2010

Hi, Was just reading your webpage on the giant chair in Natsworthy, we visited it this Monday 4th May and its still there in all its glory! It really adds to the area so hopefully it will be there for a lot longer!

Kind regards, Jamie

May 5th 2010

Hi Tim – This is Anne from the Museum of Dartmoor Life. Just a short enquiry. Some one recently told me the Bellever Idol story; as this hadn’t come to my attention before I checked out your web site & found the April Fool pop up. Has he been fooled? Anne

April 17th 2010.

Hi, To save me taking a drive up there and adding to the excuse of increased traffic along the narrow roads of Dartmoor… Could you please tell me the status of… The Giants Chair of Natsworthy. Has the situation has been resolved? is it still ongoing? or has it already been removed. (Which would be a travesty) Many thanks & what a great site.

As both of the emails below arrived on the same day I presume the Dartmoor Witches page was discovered by Holly Owen who then instigated the second communication. I am sick and tired of people telling me what I can or cannot put on my own website and in this instance I will be altering NOTHING! Firstly the reference to a link between the sheep killings and ‘pagans’ came initially from the police and if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. Secondly, both emails suggest that ‘pagans’ would never be involved in ritual slaughter of this kind, I am sure there are many Muslims who say that their like never get involved in human slaughter – try telling that to the troops in Afghanistan. Thirdly it is noted below that these sheep killings could possibly be attributed to ‘Satanists’ and that ‘Pagans do not believe in the Christian God’‘, so I am sure that ‘Satanists’ do not believe in a Christian god therefore they must be Pagans! The Oxford English Dictionary defines a ‘pagan’ as being: ‘a person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions.’ Therefore I would suggest that by using the word ‘pagan’ to describe those responsible for the sheep killings is perfectly legitimate, when have so many animals been killed in such a manner by any believer belonging to any of the ‘main world religions?

April 13th 2010.

The loss of these animals would have been tragic, and unfortunate that it would only be in the financial sense that the absence of their lives would be felt. The value of the life so reduced in these times. It’s always interesting to hear information on the history of Dartmoor, it being such a beautiful part of the world, but I feel that your research has let you down in this article

Where pagans perform ritual slaughter of animals the larger the ritual the greater the importance of the animal. For example: Daisy the cow would get a nice little send-off, while another cow ordinarily used for breeding would get a much grander send-off to (hopefully) counteract the circumstances which brought about the necessity for the slaughter of the animal in the first place. The reason for this is because pagans (despite existing in all the varieties that they do) view life, and everything that contributes to it, as being of very great importance. Everything ritual and festival that occurs in the year has its roots in the holy significance of life and death, whether it be of animal, mineral or vegetable.

In other words, though these killings have very evidently taken place next to cultural landmarks, the connection that is drawn in your article between pagans and what appears to be willful motiveless killing of animals is wrong. This has never been part of Pagan practice and never will be unless the unlikely eventuality comes about where our two species go to war, and even then it would be doubtful.

Can you please correct your article with this in mind? I’m sure others feel, like me, that this is a slanderous accusation upon our religion.


LS Hamilton

April 13th 2010.

Hello there,

I have been browsing your Dartmoor website, and have found the majority of it to be informative and an excellent read. However, I would like to raise the issue of the page entitled Dartmoor Witches, upon which you refer to troubling incidences of sheep killings.

While I agree that they seem to have been laid out in a possibly ‘ritualistic’ manner, what troubles me is your explicit linkage of these atrocities with Paganism. Modern-day Pagans would simply never hurt a living creature in such a manner. The very foundation of 21st century Neo-Paganism is based upon reverence for Mother Earth and all of her living creatures. In fact, the majority of Pagans these days are vegetarians.

The horrible incidents involving the sheep will have been the work of disturbed individuals who have probably watched far too many violent films. They may well have believed they were carrying out a ‘Satanic’ ritual – however, I need to point out that Satan is an entirely Christian construct. Pagans do not believe in the Christian God and certainly do not believe in Satan. It is a common misconception that Pagans are linked with ‘Satanism’, ‘Black Magic’ and animal sacrifice. I much prefer it when people call us ‘tree-huggers’ as while this tends to be said in a mocking manner, at least it captures the inherent gentleness of modern Paganism.

I hope you will amend your page as 21st century Wicca and Paganism absolutely NEVER involve animal sacrifice and believe me, we Pagans already have enough trouble dealing with prejudice without people linking us with such abominable acts.

Thank you,

Holly Owen.

April 11th 2010.

hey im very interested in the history and suposed ghost of dartmoor but i was just wandering where do u get all this information plus would u meet me and show me these places as i wanna find out if something is actually out there.

Yeah right, Ghostbusters are the next door down,

March 31st 2010.

Hi Tim,

I’m ‘trying’ to research ‘PUT ON / TAKE OFF STONES’ in Cornwall, but the only reference I can find to such items are the ones you have detailed on Dartmoor. I am attempting to complete this years Round Britain Rally, which is an event running from April Till October, whereby motorcyclists locate 89 Landmarks around the UK. One such landmark ‘clue’ on my list is ‘ PUT ON STONE AND TAKE OFF STONE (15 POINTS EACH) AT COOMBEGATE & CADSON, ST.IVE” That’s all the info I have and with your website being so informative, I hope you don’t mind me asking for help, as I thought you may have access to some research data I can’t find 🙂 I think I’ve possibly traced them in the area of Newbridge (PL17 7HW) and Pipers Pool (PL15 8QG) but they appear so far apart and I’m wondering if they should be in pairs closer than this? When using Google maps with coombegate in particular, the ‘streetview’ gives a clear view of a stone at the roadsides edge although I cannot see any detail. And I can see a stone against the walled gate at the entrance to Cadson Manor, but again it’s unclear. I’ve emailed the manor and am hoping for some help from that location – are you able to assist me on this one please?

Kind regards, Gary McDonough.

March 27th 2010.


I have visited your website and would like to request an additional link to our website.

At UK Campsite Search we are working very hard at promoting campsites and caravan sites in the UK’s National Parks, having visited many of these areas myself I know what they have to offer and how important to the local economies tourism is.

You can view our Dartmoor pages here –

Please take a look at our website and let us know what you think. It’s always useful to have feedback from fellow website owners.

Good luck with your site and any future ventures.

Kind Regards, John Conway .

March 24th 2010.

Dear Tim,

Being a mine of information on all things Dartmoor, I wonder if you can help solve a mystery. Walking up the Erme from Harford Bridge recently, I came across this old building which includes a brick built aqueduct which probably carried water to a wheel. I’ve checked my many Dartmoor books but can’t find anything about it. Dartmoor National Park Authority said an old map showed a pumping station in the vicinity and wondered if it was anything to do with Bullaven house as an aerial shot of the area in 1947 showed a swimming pool, but this substantial building is much more than a pumping station. It has to be some sort of mill. Have you any ideas or can you point me in the direction of someone who might know?

May I also take this opportunity to say how much I enjoy the Legendary website and your book on A Pilgrimage to Dartmoor Crosses. I bought the book having discovered it in Exmouth library. These are genuine comments.

Paul Huddart

March 23rd 2010.

Hi Dartmoorlander, nice read about the Ilsington Lych Gate. I was born next door in The Old Post Office.

Regards. Cyril Honeywill.

March 18th 2010.

Hello, Can you tell me anything about the wonderful bridge at the far end of the Meldon reservoir, please? Love the site, very informative and helpful.


March 17th 2010.

Dear Tim,

I have just seen your website for the first time after Googling “St Michael de Rupe”. Absolutely fascinating stuff – well researched and well written. I am particularly interested in evidence for Roman occupation outside the “obvious” areas (having done my uni dissertation on 1st century Britain) and have since childhood been a bit obsessed with tracing old road networks on maps. So Google Earth is heaven! (as well as, of course, the most massive timewaster when I should be getting on with work, my post grad studies, housework etc.)

Which brings me to Spreyton. I cannot believe that church font is Saxon: I will go so far as to say it is not Christian. Have you ever seen any history for Spreyton beyond the limited stuff available on Genuki etc.? Do you by any chance have access to any archaeological sources not available online?

Kind regards


March 13th 2010.

Dear Sirs

Will you please amend the list of licensees of the Warren House Inn, which is incorrect and should read as follows:-

1963 -1968 William Ash

1968 -1971 Dennis Seaman

1971 -1984 Basil Goad

1984 -1988 Tony Berry

1988 – Present Peter Parsons

William (Bill) Ash was responsible for changing the inside of the pub when he bought it from Brian Sillem in 1963, and it was managed for him by Maurice Greenanway. I went to the Warren in 1968 when Dennis Seaman bought it and managed it for him until 1971 when he sold it to me. I then sold it to Tony Berry in 1984, who then sold it to Peter in 1988. Peter Parsons (whose father – Bob Parsons owned the Three Crowns in Chagford) worked for me for several years as my bar manager, stayed on when I sold it to Tony, and then subsequently bought it from him.

Kind regards

Basil Goad

Thanks Basil, duely amended.

March 10th 2010.

Hi Tim,

Great website, I really enjoy reading the information. I spend hours on Dartmoor walking and would have missed a lot of things without your web site highlighting them.

Just some info I picked up last November which may be of interest re your comments why the original engraving date is 21st March and the new memorial says 22nd March, it may be relevant or maybe not at all. I was one of a party of walkers who walked to the memorial on Remembrance Sunday to pay our respects , it was one of the DNPA guided walks.

Our guide new some of the crashes history but passed us over to another gentlemen walking with us who had spent a lot of time researching the crash, if my memory serves me he was ex RAF and obviously retained his interest after his retirement.

1) My first recollection of this gentlemen’s information is one of the crew actually survived the crash and was taken to a local hospital (Moretonhampstead I think) but died due to his injuries the next day (22nd).

2) My second recollection is the bomber was returning from a bombing mission in France and someone with us was pondering the time differences between UK and France, was 22.50 accurate, maybe it was 23.05UK 21-3-1941 which may have been 01.05 France (+1hr) 22-3-1941?

My recollection 1) seems more likely to me. I often see the DNPA guide and will have a chat with him when I see him and reconfirm my recollection of events. I may also be able to find the other gentlemen’s name. The walk to the memorial has been an annual event for a few years so I will attempt to attend again this year if it is organized and listen more carefully.

Regards, Terry Horan.

March 3rd 2010.

Hello Tim.

I have spent a few months now looking for information on names of people and places on/from Dartmoor. As I am in the 3rd rewrite of my poem about Dartmoor. This poem is one of a handful required for my creative practice module towards my degree. I wanted to write and thank you for your fabulous research on ’The Moor’ which is and has always been special to me. Not at least because I was born in Tavistock, where the rest of my family, Aunts and uncles, Grandparents even Great Grandparents where born in Torquay.

I will include you and your website in footnotes and bibliography of course. I hope this is agreeable with you.

Kind Regards Debra McLean (AKA pen name Beatrice Whyddon).

February 22nd 2010.

Hello, Do you know where I could get picture’s of Princetown during the snow in 1963? my father was a prison officer at dartmoor I was living there at the time and remember very well seeing the prisoners dig through the snow to make a pathway in the main street. Also opening cattle grids to let sheep and pony’s in so we could feed them scraps. Which the pony’s repaid us by nipping our rear ends!!

Kay Blatchford.

February 19th 2010.

Good morning,

I am doing a research about the evil eye tradition in the British Isles and found in your web page that “hag stones” work against it. My doubt is that if a hag stone, a serpent’s stone, a snake stone and an adder stone are all the same. Could you help me solve this doubt?

Thank you very much for your help.

Milagros Torrado Cespon

February 18th 2010.

Dear Tim,

Enjoyed your book recently and hence the contact. I have been increasingly interested in history of our area (Village) and over recent year have come across an old granite cross, picture attached before cleaning it. I think the arms were removed but the raised small cross is still evident. As a committee project this stone will be used to mark the 400th anniversary of General George Monck born in Merton.

The cross if that is what it was, stood for many years in a field opposite General Moncks home Great Potheridge at Merton. This stone appears to be ancient. I so far have not been able to trace it on any maps but live in hope it was recorded somewhere. It was knocked over by farm contractors about 20 years ago and the farmer saved it – hence us using it.

The question is of course what was it? a rubbing post moved to the field by a farmer? an ancient way marker (my preferred thoughts so far) a mark of something under ground? a boundary mark? The field has not changed much since 1841 tithe maps, no one knows anything about it other than seeing it in the field – approx middle of field. There is no natural Granite in the area so it would presumably have been brought in from Dartmoor. (so it could be a Dartmoor cross)

With your interest and knowledge I wonder if you have any thoughts on it or where to locate any information?

The 1947 aerial pictures do not show it as too small I suppose but I will look again with a glass to see if I can locate the exact position in the field where it stood.

Philip Collins

February 16th 2010.

Hi there, Had to let you know of the great laugh I had today. I’ve been wandering around this excellent site of yours, and being a bird lover, found myself reading about the buzzards of Dartmoor. I really wondered at “grace the sky” and “majestic” used to describe these birds! Then I read on and realized you were describing what here in the States we call hawks. Buzzards, here, are synonymous with vultures, the huge ugly baldy head bird which eat carrion. 🙂 Hawks, buteos, on the other hand truly are, like you say, majestic and graceful. Not completely lost in translation! Thanks for the thorough site!


February 14th 2010.

Mr. Sandles, Thank you so much for your incredible site! It’s been a wonderful supplement for my Dartmoor daydreaming. I’ve never visited in person, and probably never will, so pictures and stories are my manna. Have you ever considered putting all of your information from the site into hardcopy? Might be a bit more manageable to peruse in a book form. Thank you for your hard work on this project.

R Hardin

February 12th 2010.

Dear Tim Sandles,

Today, after many years, I finally made the long overdue pilgrimage to pay homage at the grave side of William Crossing in Mary Tavy Churchyard. Returning home I was prompted to see what information might be hiding on the Internet about this remarkable man and just wish to express my appreciation of the article you wrote about him under Legendary Dartmoor. Thanks to Brian Le Messurier it didn’t take too long to find Crossing’s resting place. I too was surprised to see no mention of his moorland associations on the headstone. Regarding your comments about “learned pontificators” I know of one place in particular where Hemery pours scorn on Crossing’s recollections of a building and categorically denounces its existence. I refer to the Watchman’s Hut on Huntingdon above the ruined blowing-house on the left bank of the River Avon in the area Crossing calls Higher Bottom. I have been to it on numerous occasions and only wish it were possible to drag Hemery there and “rub his nose in it”. Isn’t it so true of many deceased geniuses that they die in poverty with later generations reaping the benefits of their endeavours in more ways than one.
Thank you, Robert Woodland

February 10th 2010.

Dear Tim

I must congratulate you on your excellent Legendary Dartmoor website. With reference to Cut Hill and the apparent mis-naming of Cut Lane & Cut Hill streams, I contacted the OS and forward their reply. They say the DNPA say Cut Hill stream is correct, and ‘Hangman’s’ is called Cut Hill Water !!

Further to my email of 3rd February regarding Cut Hill Stream.

We have contacted Dartmoor National Park about this issue. They have confirmed that OL 28 is correct and Cut Hill Stream runs NW to SE into the East Dart River and that the stream that flows west to east into the East Dart River is called Cut Hill Water. We have added the name Cut Hill Water to our mapping and this will be available in the next revision. We do appreciate the time and trouble you have spent in communicating with Ordnance Survey.

Best wishes Ron Quilter

February 8th 2010.

I’ve recently found your fantastic web site and I’ve just been reading about Haytor. In September 1960 I joined the Royal Signals junior leaders regiment that was stationed at Denbury, where the prison now stands. I have a distinct memory of being invited to go rock climbing at Haytor on my first Sunday there and I can positively state that the iron hand rail was gone at that time. I always wondered who by and when the steps were carved.
I recall many days spent on the moor during my two years as a boy soldier. Among the most vivid of these of course is the ‘Ten Tors’ expedition, getting lost at night in a blizzard and the day the whole regiment was turned out on ‘operation litter bug’.
Many thanks for your work on this project.
Roger Lashly

January 29th 2010.

I have noticed on your page devoted to Wells and springs that you give a map reference of SX 7107 7640 for this well / spring.

I visited the “Slades Well” marked on the OS 1:25000 map north of Chinkwell Tor and my GPS gave a reference of SX 7282 7840 which very much agrees with the marked position. I have submitted two pictures to Geograph for the square SX 7278. I hope this is of use to you.


Thanks Guy, got the Slade’s and the Shere wells mixed up.

January 22nd 2010.

Hi Tim

Just been told about your Gutter Tor Cross page by Liz Miall (Dartmoor guide), not bad … I was there yesterday and took the attached photos of the very nearby damaged apple crusher as well. You’re welcome to use them if you feel the need!

No doubt better photos will be taken in sunshine at some date.

Cheers – Keith

January 17th 2010.

Dear Mr. Sandles:

I am writing you in regards to the story on your website about the Oxenham family. I have been trying to find out more information about this phenomenon of seeing white birds before the death of a family member. Would you be able to suggest any websites or resources about this?

When I was a young women (I’m 53 now), my mother told me that her Mom saw white birds before a family member died. Mom told me grandma hated it when she saw a white bird, which she saw in her mind’s eye, because she didn’t know who was going to die or when. I didn’t think much of the story until after my own mother died about 9 years ago. Before she died I saw all kinds of white birds in my mind’s eye. I had completely forgotten my grandma’s experience by then. After having a few similar experiences over the years since my mom’s death, I am convinced I have inherited my grandma’s “gift.” As far as I can tell, I only see a white bird before blood relatives die.

I decided to keep a record of this phenomenon as an experiment and do more research on the folklore related to it. My mother’s family heritage is Irish and maybe Scottish, and I’m wondering if that may have anything to do with it.

Cordially, Monica Curry

January 13th 2010.

Hi, I have been doing a bit of research recently on Dartmoor plains and came across ” Horrapit ” plain mentioned on your website. I can however find no mention of it in any of my Dartmoor books, was wondering if you could enlighten me with a grid reference at all?

Yours Jason Maddick

January 7th 2010.

Dear Mr Sandles

Reading your excellent article on the Duchy Hotel, I came across “Amongst the artists who stayed there were B. W. Leader who was supposed to have painted some ‘exquisite gems’ on the shutters of the hotel. Although William Crossing refutes this by saying Aaron Rowe informed him that a Mr. A. B. Collier was the culprit, (Crossing, 1966, p.125).”

For what it’s worth (!), Arthur Bevan Collier, RA, lived at Carthamartha, about six miles S of Launceston on the Cornish bank of the Tamar. His obituary states “Dartmoor and the Thames valley, in addition to the immediate neighbourhood of his home, fascinated the artist, and excellent was the result.” I’m not sure when he died – somewhere around 1900 – but I could go and check his gravestone a mile or two away, at Lezant. Interestingly, and probably coincidentally, the largest local landowners then were called Rowe – and still are.

My parents bought Carthamartha in 1962, when I was 15, and instantly (in my opinion unforgivably) had it demolished. I live there still, in a bungalow they built on the site. The old house was dilapidated, and I only saw it once, but I remember that all the internal doors were painted with flowers and country scenes, so I would imagine Aaron Rowe was very probably right in stating that A.B.C. painted his shutters. I have one painting by him, and a photograph of the interior of the old house in its heyday, showing several paintings of his, including some decorated furniture.

Best regards

Nigel Jonas

December 29th 2009.

Just to let you know that I visited this tor in the snow today. I followed the instructions from Hemery’s book High Dartmoor and I can give you a grid reference for your readers – it is 6836 8341.

There was even a small herd of red deer in the valley down there so a lovely way to spend Christmas Day. Thanks for all of the info on your site. I have only a few of your tors to visit to complete the lot and start again!

Happy Christmas. – Tony Owen

Thanks Tony, I have added the grid reference to the page.

December 12th 2009.

Hi Tim,

Firstly can I say what a fantastic and very interesting website you have made. A very enjoyable read, you can just feel the myth and legends come to life when walking over the moors.

I have been hiking for years mainly over Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons and have recently moved down to Devon. I have already gone on a few hikes over the moors. Whilst hiking I came across some people letterboxing. I thought that this was a fantastic idea and a great way of getting to know the moor. I would love to get my own stamp made up so i can leave my mark on the books. I was wondering whether you can recommend a good place to get a stamp made up?

Thanks for the help

All the best – John

December 12th 2009.

Hi, Just found your site and read of the sighting of a big black cat on Manaton green in April 2004. I actually saw this cat on several occasions and have clear photographs of its tracks in the snow taken just a few moments after sighting the beast. Its too lengthy to go into in an email but I have bred Burmese cats for 21 years so wouldn’t be confused by any other animal nor its size especially very close up. I first spotted it a day before it was seen by others at the village green on the opposite side of the village at a woodland edge sitting in the open looking up at birds who were making loud alarm calls, the noise is what drew my attention, I noticed the size of the cat immediately and was drawn by fascination to approach it, much to my surprise it didn’t move but merely switched its attention back and forth between myself and the birds, as I got about 30 yards away with my knees like jelly and my heart fit to explode I decided that I ought to try to scare it off so I shouted and clapped my hands, at first it didn’t move but eventually stood for a few seconds looking directly at me and then turned and slowly walked into the trees. The cat was (I did some comparative measuring) knee high about 4 feet long and intensely black, the coat seemed to be more an absence of light rather than black, the blackness of an underground cavern, it was most definitely a black Puma with a long tail. Since the April 04 sighting I have seen it twice more including in the snow when I managed to get the picture of its tracks, I took one of my mature cats out in the snow and did some comparison pictures of her tracks, both sets against my hand as a scale.

My opinion is that it lived on small game which is plentiful. I do not believe it large enough nor desperate enough to attack large animals such as ponies and sheep, (more likely dogs) and from its lack of fear of humans it must have been a pet at some time, I expect it now dead of old age and given the nature of the moor unlikely its corpse would be found.

I hope you found this of some interest, If the Puma and its kin are still out there I hope they remain undisturbed, free to live out a natural life.

Regards John

December 4th 2009.

Hi Tim,

Just found your site, too much to take in one visit, but for a guy brought up on Dartmoor at hillside Merrivale Bridge, it brings to life all I remember, even though my memories are dimming in age, I visit all to rarely now, and being at Denbury at the outset of the Ten Tors it is remarkable how large this early training exercise has become. I look forward to more reading over the next few weeks/months.

Thank you again.

Tony Pope

November 29th 2009.

Dear Tim,

Dartmoor has held an enduring enigma and magnetism for me for many years now, so all the more surprising that I only discovered your excellent website a few days ago. Thanks for a superb site which I am looking forward to reading from start to finish over the winter.

On Saturday 21st November, a friend, Steve Dent, and I undertook an 18 mile round walk on Dartmoor which started at Whiteworks car park taking in the Swincombe Valley, Ter Hill, Ryder’s Hill, Pupper’s Hill, Huntingdon Cross, Erme Pits, the Langcombe Hill trig point and then crossing the Plym River at Ditsworthy to take a stroll back via Nun’s Cross in the dark. The weather was foul in a way that Dartmoor weather has a habit of being but also as it turned out, a severe weather warning weekend; the arduous crossing from Erme Pits across Langcombe Hill was like walking against a freezing pressure washer.

I’ve crossed the Plym at Ditsworthy on three previous occasions in mid winter using both the weir crossing and the ford. When the river hove in to view at half three in the afternoon coming down from Hen Tor I could see immediately that the logic was flawed. The volume and speed of water on the river was phenomenal and certainly un-crossable: one thing I’m certain of is that any attempt to cross would have made the headlines of the local papers in the most undesirable way. This was the part of the walk that I was the least concerned about and a stark reminder that Dartmoor is no home for complacency! After looking at the ford, the weir, the ford, the weir, walking up stream, considering the possibilities, the only reasonable course of action was an unscheduled and un-researched pitch dark hike over to Trowlesworthy Farm and hence to Cadover Bridge with the prospect of a very long walk back to Whiteworks, or a taxi. Heroism can wait for another day.

But back to the Legendary Dartmoor website…. It’s kindled an immediate desire to get back to the Moor and explore more. Next time I write I’ll try to do as your other visitors’ book contributors do and make some more learned comment.

With kind regards,

Graham Rouse

November 28th 2009.

Hi Tim,

My name is Emma and I’m a Canadian student doing my teacher training at the University of Exeter. I’ll be teaching secondary English with drama. Our major term project is to design a 6 week scheme of work for a year 7 class. I’ve chosen to do mine on Dartmoor legends. I’ve never even been to Dartmoor but it seems magically alluring to me.

Looking through your website I’ve realised the wealth of legends that exist. I was wondering if you could point me to your favourites — or something you think a year 7 student would enjoy.

Also, in your biography you mention a TV program in which you’re featured. Where can I get my hands on a recording? I think it might be a good resource for background information.

I would really love to hear any ideas you might have. I’m really excited about this project and would like to make it as interesting as possible for my future students!

Thanks so much for your time and for making such an interesting website!


November 22nd 2009.

Tim- I’ve just finished watching The Hound of The Baskervilles for the umpteenth time. A great movie. I find the bogs and moors very interesting and was moved to “dig” into them a bit on the net and “stepped” into your site. It is very fascinating. I’d love to see the bogs in the flesh, but alas, funds. For now I’ll have to be satisfied with your vivid descriptions and photos. Great stuff. Thanks! Pat Parker Centralia, Washington USA.

November 19th 2009.

Hi Tim, Always a good interesting web site, where one is able to gain a considerable amount of knowledge. As a second year student at Plymouth University studying Archaeological Practice I have to produce a research project throughout the year on my chosen subject. As I live in Ivybridge am a great lover of Dartmoor I am choosing to do a study on the Staldon Row with a phenomenological approach. I have the Butler books and Worth’s Dartmoor. As you seem to have a great knowledge of Dartmoor and its sites I would be extremely grateful of any considerations or help you would be able to provide me with. Thanks Alistair.

November 13th 2009.

I walked out to the Grey Wethers last Monday. What I saw, and what maps ans aerial views of them I have seen suggest to me is that there are are two separate stone circles next to each other, not one inside the other. So what do you mean when you say that the circles are concentric, which is stated twice in the web page.

David Tyers

Many thanks for pointing out the error, this has now been corrected, by the way – which charm school did you go to?

November 10th 2009.

Good Morning Tim

I am writing in the hope you may be able to assist – I am currently researching for BBC Radio Devon. Pippa Quelch BBC Radio Devon is producing a radio programme to go out on Friday 13th November the main topic will be superstitions.

We came across your site online and wondered if you would be prepared to take part in the show? If you are free the show will be recorded on Friday 13th and you would need to be in the studio by 3 pm.

Best wishes

Byron Jackson

November 9th 2009.

I recently came across your website ‘’ when researching different types of wetland, trying to find some more information for my studies on dartmoor conservation.

After reading through your ‘about the author’ page it became obvious that you know a lot about dartmoor, and have been there many times. I was wondering if you could help me: How did you go about getting all of your knowledge in the first place? I’m curious about different methods of research, such as practical work and theory, comparisons between the two and how you would go about doing any practical work on wetlands without professional equipment etc.

Thanks. Any help would be appreciated,
November 1st 2009.

Dear Mr Sandles,

As a reader who has always enjoyed reading your Legendary Dartmoor site, I was taken aback by the remarks you make in your moorland ramblings article (the part about John Bishop’s house). As someone who has lived and worked on Dartmoor all my life (I was brought up at Ford Farm in Manaton), I know something of the issues around conservation. For many years I worked on my father’s farm, but I have also been working in Dartmoor primary schools introducing Year 5 and 6 children to Dartmoor’s history and folklore since 1991.

I am now director of MED Theatre, the community theatre company which led the project about children highlighting their aspirations which you refer to. I find it disappointing that you should damn their efforts to engage with conservation on Dartmoor. If the young people who live here are not introduced to the importance of Dartmoor’s heritage, and encourage to engage with it, then their attitude to it when they assume positions of power and responsibility, is likely to be uninformed. How will these children feel when they come across your comment about their project, which involved two years hard work, resulting in two Dartmoor plays and a DVD documenting their developing attitudes to their local heritage? I agree with you that John Bishop’s house should be conserved.

Yours sincerely Mark Beeson

October 31st 2009.

Hi Tim

Thanks for a great site, which I regularly visit.

I read with interest the legend of the fire at the Warren House Inn! I then investigated the legend that it is the oft-stated “fact” that it is the third highest pub in England. I found an internet source that stated it was, in fact, only the tenth highest pub in England – I have had a look at the pubs concerned on Google Earth and confirmed with OS maps, and have compiled the following list, which is in the same order as the website above:

Tan Hill Inn DL11 6ED 523ft 1717m, Cat & Fiddle Inn SK11 0AR 515ft 1691m, Travellers Rest SK17 0SN 465ft 1528m, New Inn SK17 OSW 467ft 1531m, Kirkstone Pass LA22 9LQ 450ft 1477m, Royal Cottage Inn ST13 8UH 452ft 1486m, Mermaid Inn ST13 8UN 444ft 1458m, Winking Man ST13 8UH 443ft 1456m, Miners Arms CA9 3PF 435ft 1430m and Warren House Inn PL20 6TA 431ft 1417m

Kind regards

Andrew Hackney

October 29th 2009.

Dear Tim,


You may recall that I contacted you some time ago during my research for the book – remember the Maximajor stone?. I’m pleased to say that it has now been published and I hope you might be interested in buying a copy. I’ve attached a one-page file which gives a resume and incorporates an order form. I’d be very pleased if you helped in the sales drive of a first-time author!.

Best regards,

George Major

October 28th 2009.

Hello Tim, sorry to bother you, I am emailing from the Tavistock Times, I have done a story about a couple from near Lyme Regis who have a family connection to a man called Harry Hoar who shot his former fiancé after she left him, this was back in 1879. I was then informed of your story about the Peter Tavy murders and was wondering if I could use some information from your page? We could put your name by the story if you would like?

Hope you can help?

Best wishes, Lindsay Bright

October 27th 2009.

Hi Tim

Have found your website today while sitting in China Blue in Totnes waiting for wife and daughter to create their masterpieces! I put Logan stone into Google on my Blackberry as I wanted to find out what they were as I have seen them on the maps ( also nutcrackers), your site came up and I must say it looks great with loads of info.

I live with my family in Paignton and used to go onto the moor as a child with my father. We holiday a lot in the Highlands and I have an ambition to walk the Larig Ghru in the Caingorms ( the 40 mile circular), but first I must get fit enough and what better place to train than Dartmoor. It has now gone further than that I we are now aiming to walk every Tor on the moor and the accessible ones off the moor. I am using reference books by A D Johnson Walking the Tors and Hilltops of Dartmoor he lists 190 of them and also a book that is now out of print called The A to Z of Dartmoor Tors by Terry Bound he lists app 300! I am wondering if you know of any other references available and if their is an actual definitive guide to how many Tors there are, their names and locations. Since September we have clocked up ninety tors on my days off! I am also planning in the spring to walk from Ivybridge to Okehampton, camp the night then walk back the next day. In the summer I want to circum-navigate the moor, I may do this one in aid of Rowcroft Hospice Charity, I would imagine this to take a few days! Since I have started this Tor bagging game I have become increasingly more interested into the history of Dartmoor, for me getting onto the Moor is a release of the daily routine of running my own Taxi company and I find an immense connection with the landscape as I do in Scotland. I will enjoy reading your info on your site, if you have any ideas for me I would be very grateful.

many thanks


October 22nd 2009.

I have been putting a few links to your pages from our gazetteer page and have just checked yo put in one for the Ten Commandments at Buckland Beacon when I noticed two tiny mistakes. I am assuming that you would want to know about them on the basis that I always want to know whent there are errors on our web site.

So, /ten_command.htm and the last paragraph. . . . stream allowed to to wash . . . (him to?) and . . . 1995 and the letter painted . . . (letters?)

All best wishes

Rodney Willett

Many thanks for pointing out the ‘typos’, one good turn deserves another – see above.

October 20th 2009.

Hello. My name is Alec Graham. I’ve been looking at your site, especially the pages about RAF plane crashes on Dartmoor.

I have been researching what happened to my uncle, Pilot Officer Alec Graham and it was his Spitfire that crashed and unfortunately killed him. It has been my intention to try to visit the crash site for sometime. If you would like more details to update your site I am happy to provide them.

Best wishes

Alec Graham

October 15th 2009.

Dear Tim Sandles

Sorry to trouble you with this e-mail – but just wondered if you could help with the following :- I am presently compiling a small book on the Pseudo meteoric events of the British Isles – ( including some Fireball incidents ) – which I hope to self publish next year, and in researching same, I came upon your interesting website, and your feature on the event at Widdecombe in the Moor in 1638.

As this event is of interest to my own project, I write to inquire if I may reference your website in my proposed book – on the understanding that due credit is given to your work and to the original data sources. I do not wish to copy your work verbatim – but use my own wording where possible – to avoid undermining your own research effort.

Please advise if this is acceptable to you,

Thanking you for your time yours sincerely


October 14th 2009.

I found your very interesting item on Brittan after deciding to research the history of two old pictures I acquired some time ago. I must admit I had never heard of him but just loved the scenes of Dartmoor. They are, I believe, framed prints(?) with mounts handwritten Charles E Brittan with the titles ‘Crip Tor & Sharp Tor’ and ‘Walkham Valley & Pew Tor’. The latter has a group of very indistinct sheep or brush on the left about two-thirds of the way down the picture and large clear granite slabs in the lower foreground on the right with some misty trees/shrubs in the background just over half way across to the right. The former has again clear large slabs and heather in the left bottom corner, four sheep towards the right and a misty hill with trees/shrubs on the horizon to the left.

Celia Snoxell

October 12th 2009.

Having returned ‘home’ for a weekend in Exeter, I came across the Giant’s Chair whilst out cycling and discovered your website when looking for info on it. Following up on this I see that the recent planning app has now been withdrawn with some mention of possible agreement of a new location for the chair. I wonder if it is related to the other email you mention receiving?

I hope the new site, if it does indeed move, provides an equally compelling view. I think the location as much as the structure itself it what makes it so special. Many thanks for your wonderful site!

Regards Simon

October 11th 2009.

Hello Tim,

Having today taken a very wet and misty walk on the ridge, I became fascinated with the ‘anti – glider’ poles that are still visible on the ridge, and to which you site gives some information. I am intrigued as to ‘why there?’ Presumably these were also placed on other parts of the moor that would have been considered landing sites, or was there some strategic significance associated with the ridge?

My only conclusion was that it is pretty high up, so if you are going to bump a glider it seems a convenient place to do so , but with a bit of a ‘tab’ to then get anywhere of (military) significance. Can you enlighten me any further?

Great site by the way.

Best wishes,

Andy H

October 11th 2009.

Hello Tim

Well I was on hols last week and it rained for 3 days, so I hardly saw anything that I wanted. I did, in fact, see the inside of pubs more than anywhere else!!

However, I did managed the small stone circle by Soussons Plantation and needless to say there was not a midge in sight!! I did dowse it and found five minor energy lines crossing it. But they are were not major ones. It is a very nice circle that has a lovely feeling inside it.

Can’t tell you about any other circles as it is the only one I managed. Altogether a disappointment, as I had been looking forward to the week for soooooo long. Especially as we’d had 5 great weather weeks before and another one coming. I am usually so lucky when I go away. I shall have to try again another year.

Best wishes and thanks for your previous help, Pauline Jenkins

October 5th 2009.


I am writing to enquire whether we may be able to set up links via websites. We have a simple and inexpensive camping field currently used by schools and colleges for expedition training and basic camping skills. We are in the process of building our website and would like to advertise sites such as yours, providing as much information as possible for our visitors.

I look forward to hearing from you on this matter.

Kind Regards, Karen Vass

October 2nd 2009.

Hi, you mention History channel documentary due in October, don’t want to miss your TV debut do you know what it will be called so I can keep an eye out for it, I have tried doing search on History page but nothing came up. Thanks for your web site very informative and you have a great sense of humour!.

Maureen & Robin Vane

September 30th 2009.

Thank you very much, one of the nicest things I have read on the old chap. I will forward it to my children. Perhaps one day we will meet.

Regards, Peter Crossing

September 22nd 2009.

Hello! I love visiting your extensive and informative site about Dartmoor. I am very much interested in Vixen Tor, as I would like to put it in a story I am writing. I know there is a small cave on its south side. Can you tell me anything about this cave (size, depth, etc) and might you have photos of it? I realize I cannot go and explore it, as it is closed to the public.

Thank you

Mark Torrender

September 21st 2009.


I just wanted to make contact and say haw much I’ve enjoyed reading through your site. When I first started letter boxing it was invaluable in persuading my 9 year old son it was a worthwhile pursuit but after just one trip to Bellever Tor he was as hooked as me! Last weekend we followed your short route to the Mecca – Cranmere Pool….. So I feel like a ‘real’ letter boxer now I’ve been there!

Just a quick question following that trip (seeing as you seem to be a fountain of Knowledge) : do you know why and for how long the military road is closed? There are some fantastic places along that road we wound love to explore some time soon!

Thanks again Pete (Exmouth)

September 16th 2009.


please do not think me absurd when I recall that as a boy ( b 1939), I remember that my parents had a bottle opener that had particular appeal for my three sisters and myself. Alas the bottle opener disappeared sometime in the 1950’s and I would like to find a replacement. About 41/2 inches in length. The mouth of the bottle opener was steel. At the top of the tool was seated a solid brass Dartmoor Pixie. I would like to make a day trip to Dartmoor to try to locate such a bottle opener (new or antique) but I do have a long way to travel from the Midlands and I wonder if you could perhaps advise me on the most likely town or village where such curios may be found. I would be most grateful for whatever advice you are able to give.
Yours sincerely, Alan Sims.

September 15th 2009.

Hi Tim,

Sorry personal name use. I know we’ve never met, but … I’m a personal name user!

I have visited you site many times and may I say …. I don’t know how you have the energy to plough so much time and variation into it! … but, so glad that you do. I have been meaning to pass my appreciation to you for quite some time. I love visiting and walking on the moor. I also like folksong, folklore, storytelling and photography, so what a find your site was to find. Whereas I used to do long hikes over the tors, as a striding athlete, nowadays I tend to do “strolls” usually with some “focus” attached to them. Some of those focuses have been to visit places of stories you’ve mentioned and to take a photo memento of “the scene”. Thanks for your efforts!

The timing of this particular email is really that I was on Sheeps Tor this past Sunday and thought I’d pay another visit to the Pixy Cave in its clitter. I had visited it some years ago, after much seeking and had crawled in and taken some photos, at that time in slide format. Being a digital camera user these days I thought that I would re-visit and take some digital pics. A glance at your mentioning it in a fairly recent website addition just brought it back to mind.

Well, it took me longer to find this time and, when I did find it, it took me more difficulty to crawl in! However, purely for your amusement I thought you might like to see some very up to date shots of the interior. Inside I found the little ceramic pixy and two letterbox cans. A job to get great shots but I thought worth a try. I also certainly took some outside shots … to help find it next time!!!

As I say, love your site. Congratulation! Having recently retired from Special School teaching I hope to have a bit more time for more rambles. Good wishes, Roger Smith

September 8th 2009


I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your Legendary Dartmoor Series. I live in Torquay and last year with my 11 year old grandson started Letterboxing. After many adventures on Dartmoor (including losing him on the path to Wistman’s Wood, very spooky) I looked on your site and it inspired me to write a work of fiction based on some of the obscure connections I have made on Dartmoor. Not that I believe in the spirit world etc. I’m finding the place fascinating and as a result of your website have visited previously ignored sites and landmarks. If I ever get this written and published you will be the first to know but I just wanted to know how much I appreciated your website.

Regards, Lesley

August 29th 2009.

‘Thar be piskies up on Dartymoor, And ‘tidn’t no good you say thar baint, I’ve felt um grauping at my heart, I’ve heard their voices calling faint’ – I saw this on your site, with interest. Who is the author of the poem? I remember it from long ago – or at least, some of it – and I’d like to see again the whole poem. Can you assist?

Regards, MC.

August 26th 2009.

Hi Tim,

I see on your links page that you are open to requests to include links to other not-for-profit sites. I would be most grateful if you would link to my site,, which now has a fair bit of content relating to Dartmoor and the towns around it. I have used your site as a valuable source of reference in many instances, and have included various links to Legendary Dartmoor pages, including a link to your home page on mine.

Regards, Tony Dunlop

August 24th 2009
Hi Tim,
I’ve been very much enjoying your website, and wondered if I might trouble you with a quick random question: Hypothetically, if one found oneself on Dartmoor around May-time, in the Tavistock/Casey Town area, would there be any berries etc. available to pick off bushes and eat? I know it’s an odd question, but I just wondered if you could help.
Thanks in advance,
Lyndsay Wheble

August 24th 2009
Dear Dartmoorlander
I wondered if you have available in high res scan your black and white image of Wistman’s Wood. We would like to consider it for the above title which is a collection of essays with an introduction by Bill Bryson, published in aid of the CPRE. Nothing is certain at the moment, but it would be nice to know whether or not a scan would be available.
All best

August 24th 2009
We were delighted to see the Giant’s Chair on our recent visit to England and Dartmoor. The view is superb and the chair is wonderful. I am rather amazed that the Park Planning board wants it removed. The only reason we heard about it was word of mouth from a local source and there was only one other couple on the path. It is rather a long way and we saw only one car parked near the entrance and that was to see Jay’s grave which is noted in most tour guides and the more likely cause of parked cars. Besides the local bus does goes there. It is very sad that such a wonderful spontaneous piece of sculpture should be removed. Dartmoor is a lovely place to visit and the Chair is a surprising (in the best way) addition. I am glad we experienced it before its planned demise. Thank you for your interesting and entertaining site and I hope the Chair is saved.

August 20th 2009.
Hello What a fantastic website. I’m so glad I found you.

August 16th 2009.
I was going through some things of my Mom’s and came across a picture which hung in our family home as long as I can remember. It is signed in the bottom right corner. It is in it’s original frame and matt. The painting is called “Walkham Valley and Pew tor”. Perhaps you could refer me to someone to appraise this work and tell me something about it.
Thanking you in advance,
Jean Green, Brighton, Ontario, Canada.

August 16th 2009
Hi Tim,
My name is Ian Clifton and I am very lucky to be living in Tavistock and for the 2years, I was even more fortunate to able to ride out on the moor all day as my job. Whilst out riding I was always intrigued by the Tors and origin of their names. Unfortunately I have never been able to trace any books which cover this area of my needs for this information. I would very much appreciate any information you could give me that will help me in my quest.
Many thanks Ian.

August 9th 2009
Hi Tim,
We corresponded last winter about Whiddon Deer Park and the deer of the Teign Valley. At the time, I promised you some photographs. These will eventually be forthcoming (life gets in the way…), but in the meantime I have been out picking berries, and looked up your excellent webpage on the subject – lots of interesting history I didn’t know. I have taken a few pictures for a blog entry – please find attached – you are most welcome to use these on your page if you are interested. If not, I will not be offended! As I have said before, I find your site very useful, and would like to give back if I can. Deer Park pictures to follow eventually!
Cheers, Phil Mason
See Dartmoor Hurts page for Phil’s photos – HERE

August 9th 2009
I am trying to put together a story about Kitty Jay of Jay’s Grave. Where can I get some information on the ‘ghost’. I am also looking for info about The Ghost Rider east of Widecombe, the ghost cottage, the ghostly hitch-hiker on the A38 and The Watchers Place on the B3212 near(ish) the town of Moretonhampstead.
Yours – John Barnes, Perth, Western Australia.

August 2nd 2009
Just been doing some research for my week’s holiday on Dartmoor in a couple of months time and I came across your great websites. As I am new to the Dartmoor area could you please tell me how to get to Scorhill Circle. I have an OS map but can’t work out where I can park car and start the walk to the circle. I am not one of the worlds great walkers so any help would be extremely helpful. Thanks so much,
With kind regards
Pauline Jenkins

August 4th 2009
Hi, I was just wondering if the giants chair at Natsworthy is still there? I visited it last year and thought it was brilliant, and would love to take my friend to see it. However I had heard rumours that it was coming down. Thanks, Clare.

July 31st 2009
Patron Saint of Dartmoor – I went to your page seeking elucidation on a quote from A Handbook of Devon Parishes by Helen Harris. The quote was “It [St Michael’s Church CHAGFORD] includes a chapel dedicated to St Katherine, patron saint of tinners.” If such is true then she must be up there a a good contender for the post. If I find out some support for the idea I’ll let you know.
Melville Bishop

July 28th 2009
Myself and two other walkers recently completed walks where we visited every stone cross on Dartmoor. We’ve decided to have a follow up project and thought perhaps bridges, in particular, clapper bridges, might be a suitable target. However, we have struggled to find a suitable text or list of bridges that we can purchase and plan our routes. Have you got any recommendations? I noticed a reference on your website to a book entitled ‘Clapper Bridge’ by T. Darvill (2002), but I presume this about clapper bridges in general. Even so I might still be interested in acquiring it. Could you supply me with further details please. Thanks in anticipation – Laurence Day.

July 27th 2009
I am trolling around looking for family info (Moretonhampstead) and came across your site. Thank you for all the information.
Just one thing:
Sales Mananger? 🙂
Mary Sawtell.

July 16th 2009
Hello Tim
This is just a quick Thank You note for you!
We really like your website, it gives a lot of information, presented in an understandable and clear way. In August we’re hoping to spend our Summer holidays on Dartmoor, in Manaton. Your site is a big help for us, as now we can have a first look at what is of interest. To that purpose we’ve saved your complete site onto the disk of our notebook, so we can bring it with us.
Wishing you all the best with your site,
Elisabeth & Erik Jan Eskes The Netherlands.

July 14th 2009
Hello, After a walk on Pew Tor this evening, we were driving back to Tavistock and saw a hare heading towards Horrabridge. I’ve never seen one before, but it was too big to be a rabbit – very long legs and big pointy ears. It was a lovely sight! Just thought that you might like to know that there are some still around! Kind regards


July 12th 2009
Dear Dartmoorlander,

Having been up to the chair a few times and thinking how wonderful the view and the ambience is up there on a nice day I had to know what’s the situation now – has it been taken down/plans made to take it down?
It would be such a shame if it has!
Many thanks, Bill.

July 9th 2009
Forgive the intrusion but I wonder if you could let me know the fate of the Natsworthy Chair? I cannot find anyone who can let me know the address/email/tel. number of the owner? I would be interested in contacting them as we have a place for it to go , outside the park but on the moor.
regards Gavin Dollard Delamore Arts.

July 6th 2009
I have recommended your excellent site to many and actually visited it this evening to show lady from nearby Lamerton who wanted a poem or some prose for their Festival. It may not seem connected but we live right next to the gorge and when first researching our property, it wasn’t until a visit to the records office in Exeter and a look at the earliest map that I discovered that the waterfall and that part of Brentor was not even Brentor Parish but part of Lamerton.
I write to point out that the fourth painting at the bottom of the left hand column of your White Lady photo collection could be the Devils Cauldron at the opposite end of the gorge but is more likely to be Kitts Steps, slightly upstream of the gorge and actually closer to Lydford than the White Lady waterfall. This much smaller waterfall on the Lyd is more powerful but not as tall, was also part of the Victorian tour of Lydford and is sometime called the Lydford Cascade. I have a couple of photos, one from a postcard and another taken myself last year. Unfortunately it was many years ago that the then owners decided to fence them of for safety and it has remained out of bounds ever since. The current owner will take visitors but it is now so over grown to be hard to appreciate.
I have put a photo on that website that show the white lady water fall in full flow with a white lady in a wedding holding a posy. Takes a bit of imagination but not too difficult.
Regards, Adrian Hepworth.

June 25th 2009
Although I have been walking over the moor for a few years, I have only today come across your web-site. What a wonderful site it is, lightly written and with really interesting facts. I think we all agree with your comments regarding the “mad hatter.”
I shall be using your site regularly from now on and thank you for the information that it contains.
I live near Bishopsteignton, so am regularly up on the moor, year round. One of my favourite days is to catch the bus from Newton Abbot to Haytor and then walk home along the Templar Way.
Yours sincerely, Chris Grimshaw.

June 19th 2009.
I am contracted to write a book about Derbyshire Crime. I have your article about George Woodcock and have written a little about him especially his links with Derbyshire. I seek permission to reproduce into my book the cartouche of him at the prison gates.
Thanking you in anticipation Peter.

June 19th 2009.
After browsing a few websites for “Lady Howard”, I came upon the Legendary Dartmoor site. I want to commend you on the best and most complete recounting of the ‘Wicked Lady Howard’ legend and the true stories of the characters. In the early 1960’s I was travelling one late night through the Devonshire countryside when our van passed a lone bicyclist wearing a dark coat. After travelling a short distance our curiosity prompted us to turn around to get a better look at the man. Once again we found him riding toward us. Again we turned around to continue our journey but now the road was empty. I suppose this could be spun into a ghostly tale given enough time. After recounting the experience to several local residents we were told that there was a simple explanation for what we had seen. Apparently there was a man living in that area who composed crossword puzzles and did so while riding his bicycle late at night. He was able to keep the whole composition in memory until he returned home and put it to paper.

June 18th 2009.
Dear Mr Sandles,
I note on your web site you quote a verse written by my great great grandfather, Edward Capern. Capern, as you may know, was a passionate Devonian. I thought you might like to know that I have just published a book about Capern – “Edward Capern, the Postman-Poet” published by Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie –
With best wishes, yours sincerely, Ilfra Goldberg.

3rd May 2009
Hi Tim,
I thought I might send you some info on Sheeps Tor on Dartmoor in particular the location of the Piskies Cave as I managed to photograph it for you, seeing as I have gained so much inspiration for my book from your website, I thought I would return the favour.
I am currently writing a children’s fantasy novel set on Dartmoor and am doing my field research and so wanted to find the location of the cave going on the 1890 description from William Crossing in his Dartmoor Piskie book. I found it, it was not easy but when you know where it is, it is quite obvious really. I found a few letterboxes on the Tor with many people’s comments on not finding it, it seems everyone is looking to high up on the Tor.
The actual cave is exactly as Crossing describes, in size and difficulty to gain access to, but a perfect hideaway. A date from I think 1911 seems to be carved into the rock inside and it did have a few mysterious items in it, including a pixie statue and a resident bat.
I have taken photo’s from the entrance towards two barns directly in front of it, the cave lies in the huge clitter of boulders quite low down on the Tor directly North from the barns as the crow flies, near a small tree amidst the rocks, the cave is sitting amidst hundreds of fallen boulders below the huge precipice of Sheeps Tor, The village church is clearly visible from the entrance. Access into the cave is a struggle but well worth the effort, and in fact there is a sister cave next door with a sign inside saying Pixie Paul’s Cave. There a few items left by others in both caves as gifts for the pixies. Enjoy the photo’s and watch out for my novel.
P.S Don’t wear shorts when cave hunting.
Kindest Regards
J.J. Adams.

1st May 2009
Mr. Sandles, I felt I had to drop you a line thanking you for the information you posted on your “Legendary Dartmoor” site concerning wart charmers. I was telling a friend of mine about how I could remove warts. Although she didn’t come out and say she thought it was a lot of hooey, I was pleased to be able to show her your wart charming info.

I’ve been removing warts since my early teens. At first I bought them, but now just need to see them. To “legitimize” the process, I tend to touch them. Haven’t know of a wart I’ve not been able to remove.

Thanks again. I look forward to investigating more of your site.

Charming Chad

Chad S. Andrews
Administrative Assistant
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701.

19th April 2009
Hello Tim,
Firstly, you have an excellent website; informative with a nice splash of humour. As a keen walker myself, I too enjoy the various ‘moods’ that Dartmoor has to offer, and the inexplicable ‘time and magic’ that can capture a moments rest during a walk.
I am wondering if you are aware of an oddity that was pointed out to me when on a recent walk. I was standing at Smallacombe rocks overlooking the valley, when this pleasant elderly gent (clearly well informed) pointed out to me a carving in the rock which spelt the word ‘DOOM.’ This is not obvious to the eye (indeed I was sat on it!) but can be seen with a little effort (or water). It is somewhat eroded and there are no other clues as to why this word would be there . A quarryman from nearby Haytor perhaps? Smallacombe as you know comprises a number of scattered rocks, and I’m not sure how to pinpoint the preciseness of this carving on the standard OS map (and sadly don’t possess anything as tech as a sat nav). If I ever get a reading I will let you know.
I thought it might interest you to know it was there.
Best wishes with your project.

14th April 2009
Dear Tim
I thought I would drop you a line to congratulate you on your website. I have been writing a small article on the River Dart and have been expanding on places such as Wistman’s wood, Buckland in the Moor, Jolly Lane cot etc. The background information which you provide help to bring the places “to life”.
Although it is only a 3 part x 2 page article I have quoted your website address in the reference list in the hope that other people will gain great pleasure from your site.
I am principally a photographer by trade and you may be interested in seeing some of my Dartmoor images on my website. I would imagine that they are all very familiar to you.
With my best wishes

22nd March 2009
Dear Tim Sandles
Went for a walk yesterday–some muddy lanes in the dull hills near Chisinau–and thought again of Dartmoor, where I have strode many a mile drinking in the stately way in which the tors drape themselves about the horizon. Those thoughts, reinforced by your excellent website, were almost as good as being there.
My grandfather Jack Hill was born in Peter Tavy in 1879, on Godsworthy farm (higher or lower not specified), and used to tell the tale of a villager who was curious about when, exactly, he fell asleep at night. And so, he had the grandfather clock brought up to his bedroom and placed at the foot of the bed, where its rattling and ticking and bonging kept him awake! And, said Jack, “You never know when you fall asleep, so how are you going to know it with a clock?” Jack would tell other tales, found also in Chaucer–not that he could real Middle English, or much of the modern sort either.
Have you read The Book of Peter Tavy and Cudlipptown by Dr Roger Meyrick and others? It’s worth a read if you can find a copy.
Best, Michael Chisinau, Moldova.

10th January 2009
As a frequent walker on the moors I found your site excellent, informative and amusing.
Just out of interest, when recently walking at Smallacombe rocks, a nearby walker showed me the words ‘DOOM’ carved into one of the flat stones. This is now very weather worn and could hardly be seen. I have not seen reference to this in any other source, and I suspect its origin (? from a quarryman) has passed into myth. Are you aware of this and able to throw any light on the mystery?
I would not have known had I not literally been sat on the stone at the time!
Best wishes.

24th December 2008
Hi there, I just wanted to write and thank you for all the great work you do with the website. I’ve been viewing it on and off for quite some time now and its given me a lot of pleasure and info, particularly on the Beardown stones which is an area I love and know well from some memorable camping trips. I used to be a webmaster myself so I really do know how much work is involved so well done for keeping it up to date and free ! I’m currently looking through the section on waterfalls and its given me loads of ideas for my photography, many of which I’d never even heard of such as the beautiful one at Black Tor which I visited last weekend. Seasons greetings and happy new year to you, keep up the great work, its a fantastic site ! Best regards

23rd October 2008
Hi There! Just a few lines to let you know how much I appreciate your site 🙂
Although I am/was a Londoner I was evacuated to Yelverton during the Hitler War at the age of 4 ( to a friend of my parents who were married there – Mum was the telephone exchange lady there and Dad worked at Cadover in the clay pits- even though he was an ex Rhondda coal miner! ).
For various reasons- none unpleasant – I was left there for 7 years and spent my time exploring the moors as the old dear I was with /*forgot*/ to send me to school!- taking the occasional salmon/ sea trout/ trout from the Meavy river and the Erme and selling them to the chef at the Rock Hotel.
Had a pony and the furthest I went was Wistman’s wood !
Went back for a month for the first time in 2004 and basically, apart from the number of people on the moor, it was just as I remembered it !
Left UK in ’63 to work overseas on a short contract and never went back !!
Now retired and living in Thailand – thanks again !
Pete Joyce.

17th September 2008
Hello Tim,
When I lived in South Zeal, about 6 years ago, the little fields above the town on the slopes of Cosdon where referred to me as “the pixie fields” – don’t think the person who told me had Devon accent (not that that always tells you much), and she may have added “I always refer to them as the pixie fields” – so may have been her invention – can’t remember… still, if that is true it shows places still garner these old meanings even now.
Well done on your brilliant web site!
Best regards, Thomas.

14th September 2008
Tim, I’ve been an avid reader of your site for a while now – congratulations on such an in depth and knowledgeable resource. I was reading your page on Rippon Tor last night, and the bit about signals being exchanged between Rippon Tor and Wells Cathedral struck a chord with me (I trained as a surveyor, although I don’t do it any more). I’m struggling to see how this could be done, as every method I’ve used to check makes it seem like the Blackdown Hills (most notably the high ground between Dunkeswell and Smeatharpe airfields) are directly in the way. To check this I have used Memory Map’s elevation data plotted as a long section between the two points, Google Earth’s elevation data imported into Autodesk’s Civil 3D and various checks on OSBMs around Wells. Neither DTM allows direct light transmission between the two points. The only way I can see it being done is between Rippon Tor and Pen Hill (the one with the transmitter), but even that seems like a stretch. I’d love to see a cite for these signals, because something in me really wants this to be true!
Cheers Dave.

4th June 2008
I just found your website on Legendary Dartmoor. I will be spending a lot of time exploring it in preparation for my trip to Britain. Thanks so much for making my homework easier for me. – Diane.

26th May 2008
Thanks so much for the time you’ve taken compiling such an interesting website! I was really interested to read about John Trinnaman having grown up in Ivybridge and swam often in Trinnaman’s Pool in the River Erme.
All we knew of the legend of Trinnaman as kids was that he hung himself from the tree above the boulder and that the hollow in the boulder was supposed to be made by the blood dripping from his body and those of his victims. We were also told that on the anniversary of his death, the hollow in the rock would be full of blood – there were times when it looked like it might have been from a distance but was only ever water on close inspection!
I never knew the back story so thanks for that however I think I still prefer my gory version of how the hollow in the rock was created to the version with the sand – they are legends after all!
Finally more thanks for the information on your website: I’ll be taking a group walking from Okehampton to Ivybridge in June and they we’re disappointed to hear how few pubs there were en route so I’ve now added the Moute’s Inn to the trip. I really hope they’ll understand the humour otherwise you may be writing about a “tragedy on Whitehorse Hill”!!!
Cheers, Graham.

23rd April 2008
On your Maltern Way page you reference Hand Hill Cross giving it a map ref of SX 61328 69318. However, on your Northmore Cross page you give a reference of SX 61253 69679 accurate to 14ft. When I visited the Cross yesterday I got a reference close enough to SX61328 69318. As you will see from the OS 25,000 map, SX 61253 69679 places it close to the old Tin workings. I hope this helpful. Thank you for all your work on this site, I have lost count of how many times I have referred to its pages.

6th April 2008
What can I say????? Words are actually failing me!!!! This site is fantastic!!!!! I have been visiting Dartmoor for several decades and, being a pagan who is interested in myths, legends and anything ghostly, considered my knowledge to be more than adequate. But, having spent some time immersed in your site, I have had the pleasure of revisiting tales that I already knew and becoming acquainted with some I didn’t. My husband and I are on Dartmoor for Samhain this year and, although I am busy on Oct 31st itself, we will be taking the Lych walk on the 1st…. Again, can’t tell you how much I am enjoying the site – I’m not normally ‘gushing’ and I can’t usually be bothered to post comments but this time I feel I have to.
Keep up the great work.
Blessed Be Sarah xxxx

5th March 2008

Hi Tim, couldn’t work out how to post a visitor book entry on the website. Fab site, full of funny and interesting stuff – I look at it whenever I’ve got a query on Dartmoor. I’m perambulating at the start of April, so I’m looking forward to talking to the sheep again. I haven’t been over since Christmas and I’m counting the days, even if the sheep aren’t! Best wishes and many thanks. Matthew Crocker, Colchester.

11th February 2008
Hi Tim.
One of my personal challenges is to visit and photograph all the tors on Dartmoor. I have used the A to Z of Dartmoor Tors by Terry Bound as a basis for this but also have included a number of tors from Hemery to build up a superset of the tors in the A to Z. It is proving an interesting and long term task. I visited the Haytor Area yesterday and one of the tors I was looking for was Dream Tor. According to the A to Z it is in the garden of a house named Dream Tor in Haytor Vale. I visited the house and gardens and spoke to the house owners. They said that there is no tor, or granite stack even, in their garden, I certainly couldn’t see one, so perhaps the author of the A to Z was using a little poetic licence in his description for this tor. I see in your list of tors on your site you have given Dream Tor as at SX 7709 7678. This reference also positions it in Haytor Vale but just across the road and slightly uphill from the house named Dream Tor. Was this a result of a visit on your part or were you also using the A to Z as a basis?
A friend of mine, who researches older Dartmoor authors and poets, advised me that Beatrice Chase had a favourite tor near where she lived in Widecombe, a hundred years ago, that she also named Dream Tor. It was not the true name of the tor however. Beatrice Chase had given not only a detailed description of views from it in one of her books ( The Heart of the Moor 1914 pages 78 – 80 ), but had also included a photograph of the tor in another of her books (The Dartmoor Window Again – published 1918 picture facing p 98 ) . She emailed me the relevant extracts from the two books. From the descriptions of the views and directions I triangulated and came to the conclusion that it could well be Wind Tor, a tor I haven’t yet photographed. My friend also suggested I might Google to see if anything came up on the net. This brought me to your excellent site and your references to Beatrice Chase’s Dream Tor. In your page on the author you indicate that the leading contender for Dream Tor is indeed Wind Tor, which seemed to reinforce my triangulated guess.
Browsing your site further I came upon an email from Janet Palmer (14th Nov 07) regarding your page on Beatrice Chase and Dream Tor. In the email Janet indicates that Peter Hicks, a close friend and carer for Beatrice had told her that Beatrice’s Dream Tor was in fact Top Tor, a tor I had photographed for my own collection. Comparing the picture of Dream Tor in Beatrice Chases book ( The Dartmoor Window Again), with one of the pictures I took three years ago of Top Tor I can confirm that the picture of Beatrice at her Dream Tor really was at Top Tor, luckily I had taken a shot from the same angle as in the book. So although Wind Tor might have been the leading contender, Top Tor is by photographic evidence Beatrice’s Dream Tor, thus confirming Janet Palmer’s own research.
If you still have Janet Palmer’s email address could you please send this email onto her as I’m sure she will be interested in the corroborative evidence that Top Tor was Beatrice’s Dream Tor.
Again congratulations on a most informative site.
Dave Pawley A Dartmoor Enthusiast.

1st February 2008
Dear Tim
I have discovered your article on Garway Church – brilliant. I have visited the church several times and each visit reveals something unusual. A toad (live) in the passage to the tower was rather a surprise. Have you written on any other churches in the area?
I have been reading your article on the badger – for many years I have been searching for badger related folklore/tales etc with little success. The best being a reference in the Mabinogion to the game “Badger in the sack”.
I have been wanting to write small article on badger lore for our Gwent Badger Group newsletter – a light relief from TB and badger digging. Would it be possible to refer to lore you wrote about in your article?
Again – what a great web-site to stumble across – your “green man” article is my next “dip into”.
Best wishes
Mary – very OAP. Wish I had found your Dartmoor site in my active days!

30th January 2008
Hi Tim

With a colleague I am researching the 1240 perambulation and walking it in stages. We did a bit of the NE section, in the general area of the Galleven Mire, last Friday.
I think your website is great and I can understand why you are put out about the “missing link”!

Did your list of perambulators came from Samuel Rowe’s book? I am in the process of trying to find out more about them – Odo de Treverbyn seems to have been the most famous and I am assuming William Brewer was the Bishop of Exeter, but the others are a mystery still – any further pointer welcome!

Keep up the good work!

Best wishes, Mike.

20th January 2008
Hi Tim
Many thanks for the info . What a great web site you have, I have just spent about 3 hours just browsing it and got totally lost for time.
Thanks once again and good hunting , Nick.

5th January 2008
Congratulations on a superb website…. full of interesting history and tales, beautifully illustrated and extremely well laid out. A treasure trove of Dartmoor tales.
Best wishes – Ray Dafter.

2nd January 2008
Dear Mr Sandles,
I’ve just benn reading your site, in partucular the page about burial chests where you say: ‘One feature unique to the Dartmoor kists is that the majority tend to have their lengths orientated on a NE/SW axis, it is estimated that 94% of the known kists conform to this rule. Confusingly this is the exact opposite of that stated by Worth: page 178-9, where he says ‘there are eighty three Dartmoor kistvaens for which the direction of length has been accurately ascertained . With very few exceptions values lie between north and west (or between south and east)
Kind regards, Tim John.

Many thanks for your email and for pointing out my mistake with the kist orientation, it should read NW/SE as noted by Jeremy Butler, I have amended the page accordingly.

11th December 2007.
I would like to congratulate you on an outstanding website. I only just discovered it today after doing a Google search for the song Tavistock Goosey Fair. I have been singing the song in folk clubs and at festivals around England and in the United States, where I now live, for more than 35 years. It has always been a favourite of mine since I heard Tony Rose sing it at Sidmouth Folk Festival years ago.
I haven’t yet had time to study the site in more detail, but I am looking forward to doing so at the first opportunity. I did however do a second search on the site for Grey Wethers. I read the legend of Grey Wethers in a book about Dartmoor in the early ’70s, and wrote a song about it. I am attaching the words to the song to this email, and would be delighted if you would publish it on the web site along with the copyright information.
Thanks again for providing such a well researched and informative web site. The World Wide Web exists for sites like this, and there are all too few of them.
Merry Christmas and Best Wishes, Robert Williams.

4th December 2007
Hi Tim,
I’ve just been reading your web page about Keble Martin chapel and the Blessing of our marriage in 1990. Please could you correct the name of my husband which is Derek (not Martin!). For the record we actually met at the Ten Commandments on Buckland Beacon on 2nd May 1988, whilst we were both letterboxing.
We are both still letterboxing and still married! We went back out to the Chapel on our 10th Wedding anniversary and had a short service with Eric Carless officiating again.
Thanks for your attention for the above
Caroline Atchley and Derek Newman.

24th November 2007
Hi, Dartmoorlander:
I am writing a piece for The Field about The Last Grouse — a roundup of the status of the Red grouse in the outposts of this gamebird in various parts of the British Isles — and came across your excellent website. Do you have any recent information to add, and can I quote you in the piece (mentioning website)? There is a news piece about my quest for information on the front page of Any help much appreciated.
Regards, Yours aye, Willy.

16th November 2007
I can’t help being annoyed at your cheap shot at the organisers of the 10 tors event. In your last paragraph you ask whether the event was cancelled because of the liability risk or the safety risk. Do you mean that the organisers are OK to lose a youngster as long as they are legally covered?
I can tell you that the event remains as challenging as ever, but from time to time the weather presents a situation where we cannot guarantee a reasonable degree of safety in what will always be an event with a degree of risk, and this year it was clear that the rivers were growing at a very fast rate, so we watched them closely. There came a point where it was clear the rivers were verging on dangerous and there was no sign of them decreasing before the following morning, on the contrary, things were only going to get worse. They were not safe to cross at virtually any point, and before anyone argues that to simply move upstream is an option before crossing, I can tell you that the upstream crossing points were so far upstream that it is highly unlikely that every team would have made a safe decision, and that many teams would try to force an unsafe crossing roughly on their planned routes. As trained soldiers, we were ourselves not happy to cross. Challenge our decision if you like, but even you should doff your hat to the opinions of the Dartmoor Recsue Group, and they were quite clear that the conditions were unsafe and getting worse.
Put yourself in our shoes…you have 2500 youngsters on the moor. Many are very determined and will let nothing get in their way to finish the event. The rivers are dangerously deep and much wider than normal and moving incredibly fast, and conditions are getting worse. Every one of the youngsters is on the south of the moor and the rivers are between them and the finish. The army and the DRG agree that the rivers are unsafe to cross. At what point do you say ‘that’s enough’? We think that point was reached. And river conditions on that Saturday were the worst on the moor all year, much worse than earlier in the year to which you refer. The team leaders from across the country agreed almost to a man (and woman) that the right decision had been made. In short, everyone there that weekend agreed the right decision was made – except of course for the very disappointed kids.
Those of us involved in adventure training know the difference between acceptable risk and stupidity, and you should not confuse the issue by asking, as you do, whether we are merely concerned for our reputations and liability, rather than the overriding importance of bringing every youngster home safely.
Sir – it’s a couple of sentences that offend in an otherwise excellent article and superb site. I would be grateful if you would rephrase.
I am happy to contribute an insight if you wish, and to discuss the issue further.
Richard Frampton Hobbs

15th November 2007
Hi Tim,
Many thanks for getting back so soon. I walked up to Chaw Gully from Challacombe Farm this morning, it was amazing. A round trip of two hours and fascinating history of mining on the way. Busy putting together a play and have found your website a terrific source of information – much appreciated.
Thanks again,
Best wishes, Vanessa.

14th November 2007
Dear Tim,
My name is Janet Palmer – I am a letterboxer and we have met (once I think) at the Meet a couple of years ago. My husband Os is a photographer and for some years we wrote about Dartmoor for the local magazines. We also wrote Let’s go Letterboxing – A Beginner’s Guide and Dartmoor Cameos. I have today dipped once more into your excellent website and I would like your permission to include the name of your website in a little book I am writing for Alan Brunton (Orchard Publications) on a few of the Dartmoor Tors. It is a book solely for the tourists/visitors naming tors from the major roads and others they can see from short diversions such as onto High Down etc – nothing definitive or academic – just to fill a gap in his market.
While I’m mailing: your page on Beatrice Chase contains a reference to Dream Tor. One of the characters in my book, Dartmoor Cameos, was Peter Hicks who, as a young man, looked after her in her final years. His father was tenant of Venton Farm which Beatrice left to Peter in her Will and they eventually purchased the cottages and Venton House. He told me during our interviews that he was sure Dream Tor was Top Tor, although I too originally thought it was Wind Tor.
Hope you are well,
Best wishes
Jan Palmer.

14th November 2007
Hi there,
Thanks for a great source of information on Dartmoor – really interesting. Please could you let me know about a reference in the section called “Chaw Gully”. There is a reference here to “Gert’s floor”. Could you let me know what that means?
Many thanks
Vanessa M.

11th November 2007
I’ve been looking at your website and it’s looking good! It must take a lot of time to develop and I look forward to seeing it progress.
Regards, Liz.

10th November 2007
I am reading Phil Rickman’s latest book and Garway Church is in the story, the pictures on your site are truly wonderful and i now have the church firmly set in my mind, so thank you, i can now see clearly what the characters in the book are looking at.

4th November 2007
I read in a book years ago about some cottages near (or in) Chagford that only appeared every ten to twelve years. Apparently people have been inside the cottages and have spoken to the people living in them I haven’t been able to find anything else about this – have you come across this? The book was about strange happenings around the world published by Paragon (I think). If you have heard this or know the origins of this story could you please let me know.
Many thanks,

2nd November 2007
Hi, I’m a student at Dartington College of Arts and i am trying to find some info on this play – William Crossing and Florence Eaton’s theatre play ‘Triumph’. I have tried Plymouth Library and the internet.
Can you help
Best – V. Shearer.

2nd November 2007
I have in my possession a copy of “Tales of the Dartmoor Pixies” dated 1890. It is inscribed Miss Johnson, with the author’s kind regards. Does anyone know who Miss Johnson was, and what was her relationship to Mr Crossing ? Look forward to your reply.
Regards,Tony Larkham.

2nd November 2007
Thanks for your work on the web site. I came across it as I have a family interest. One of my ancestors was Richard Nicholls who at one time was the Police Superintendent at Tavistock and as such I understand he was in charge of the Police enquiry into the Peter Tavy murders. Did Richard pop up in your research into the murders? and if he did can you point me in the direction of any research I could continue with into his part in the investigation.
Yours in anticipation
Andrew Palmer.

2nd November 2007
Dear Sir:
I just found your website and will stop back later for a deeper look. I was looking up the word “droke” and could find it nowhere but when I put it in alliance with “gully” your site immediately came up! Now, I’m happy about this because my family is said to be from Devonshire originally. We live in Northern Newfoundland and still use some of these words. My grandfather once (he’s passed on) and my family back there now still keep sheep and have been keeping sheep for probably as long as we’ve been there, probably a couple of centuries. And we are surrounded by lakes, wilderness and marshes, just as you seem to be there in Dartmoor. Someday I’d like to get there to visit. It would be interesting to hear the local vernacular and dialect. We have a lot of words that appear to be “olde English”, as it were. They still keep November 5th as “Bonfire” or “Guy Fawkes” night back home. Have you ever heard the word “vir” as applied to a fir tree, because many back home pronounce it that way. Anyway, would be great if you could post this in your visitor book. Take care, and thanks for the great reading. Its really intriguing!
Chris Cull, Martha’s Vineyard (formerly of Great Brehat, Newfoundland).

24th October 2007
I have to say, your site really is a good read! I’ve just been reading your latest page and there seems to be a section regarding a strange morning ritual, see below,

“The next morning the farmer inspected his bollocks, needless to say they were no better and even worse his plough horse had also been taken ill by some mysterious disease. Enough was enough, the farmer admitted defeat and took himself off to consult with the white witch of the village”

Is this some strange fertility ritual known only to the cognoscenti resident on the moor? Is it something we should all be doing? Should I invest in a plough horse? There’s still so much to learn…

Thanks for spotting the typo which has been duely amended, although, the original version is only following recent health guidelines. If you do get a plough horse I would suggest a mare as having to inspect a stallion’s bullocks could prove difficult.

18th October 2007
A quick message to say thank you for all the hard work you’ve put into the Legendary Dartmoor web-site, I read it regularly, please keep up the great work.

17th October 2007
Dear Tim,

Many thanks. I shall certainly consider your kind offer about the photographs. When an Editor needs to fill space he either needs good words – or good photos! I will be leaving a message in your Visitors Book to congratulate you on a superb and very user-friendly website but thought I should say that now! It really is the best I have encountered and that’s after trawling the internet many times for information on various subjects for our Magazine and other matters.

Best regards,

Bob Dibben.

17th October 2007
Dear Sirs,

I am the Editor of the Church Magazine for St Mary’s, Boston Spa, West Yorkshire.

Having featured in our Magazine photos of various churches observed while on holiday, including Harberton Church, I was asked by one of our parishioners whether I knew of a clock in Devon with the lettering “My Dear Mother” in place of the more usual Roman numerals? I did not. However, via the local Library and then the inevitable Internet Searches I eventually found your truly excellent website and this completed some of the key detail missing from other reference places I had read or searched.

As it happened, your featured photo of the Clock mechanism in Buckland brought immediately to mind my own examination of our clock mechanism and the similarity was, to coin a phrase “striking”. In fact both clocks were made by the same company, ours being older and by Potts of Leeds which is of course part of the Smith of Derby Group. We have an electric mechanism which turns the cogs, the weights having been discarded when ‘electrification’ took place.

I would very much like to quote in our Magazine a couple of details from your website (no photos will be used) and to acknowledge same in the article when published.

Thus, having given you the background, I request your permission to do so and hope that this will receive your early favourable response.

Yours faithfully, Bob Dibben, Editor.

9th October 2007
I have just had a look at your excellent website. I am especially interested in dartmoor ponies.. My brother has a cottage on dartmoor not far from Postbridge and I often stay there and go for walks and see the ponies. I love these animals. I have some videos of them on Youtube – they are nothing special but some of them have rec’d over a 1000 hits. In your section on the ponies there is a link to The dartmoor Pony Training Centre but it does not work – how can I get to their website? Also I have joined a charity which is helping to conserve the native dartmoor pony which is now on the official list of endangered species. I also belong to social websites such as Myspace and facebook where I often mention and promote dartmoor ponies. I think it is important that this type of pony is preserved. One problem that I have is regarding the ponies being turned into pet food. People say that ‘ how can the pony be turned into pet food if they are in danger of extinction ‘. Do you know what the situation is regarding this? Are ponies still being sold for pet food?
If you have time then please answer my questions but if you are too busy then not to worry.
All the best, Pete.

21st September 2007
Lived in Devon all my life. Just discovered Dartmoor can you believe it! Thought it was just Becky falls, Haytor etc. nice drive on a sunny Sunday to show the kids I have just started walking it with passion and loving even minute.
However I am interested in your reference to my name “Luxton Tor” is there one? if so where… being a Luxton I need to look knowledgeable to the rest of the family you understand …. can you help?
Stuart Luxton – Love the site use it for regular reference … cheers.

13th September 2007
It was nice to read the story and see photos of Jolly Cot. I have a photo of this cottage I am pretty sure, that was sent to my great grandmother in America with a note “do you remember this?” From time to time I have tried to find any reference to it. THANKS!
Sue Ellen Ash in Kansas where my great grandmother settled in later years.

August 31st 2007
Hi there,
I would like to congratulate you on a superb website, I have just ended up “glued” to it after searching info relating to C E Brittan the artist. Being an ex Letterbox addict 1976-1985 (now in rehab but suffering periodic yearnings to spend the day looking under rocks and peat banks) I am still very interested and attached to the moors. This weekend whilst fiddling about in my mum’s attic I came across a very old print of “the Walkham valley” by C E Brittan. I am about to clean it up and wondered if you would like a copy of it for your page? Its a lovely view with Gt Mis in the background.I reckon its been in that attic for 70 years or so.
Now I think of it I may of visited your site in the past, looking for info on the liberator crash site, as a colleague at work asked me if I knew of the site in the Okement valley after failing to find it himself. I could remember being there in the early 80s as there was a letterbox nearby, stating USAF Liberator crash site. So earlier this year I took him there and successfully located it, “engine an all”. The point to this entry is that the latest dartmoor mag has an article in it about a Wellington bomber and has a photo of what I thought was a liberator? Do you know if there was a Liberator and wellington crash in the same area and what came down at Tigers Marsh? my colleague wants me to take him there next! thanks.
Finally the visitor who was describing what I know of as the Turks head was a few miles out.. this site was always a closely kept secret during the 80s, and in fact the last time I was there, there had certainly been some serious damage to its nose… Don’t know if this is still the case?
best regards. Dave Johnson, Broadway, Somerset.

August 29th 2007
Hello Dartmoorlander,
Thanks for mentioning my book Dartmoor Sun on your wonderful website. There is so much to be discovered on Dartmoor. Just to be able to stand and gaze in wonder and let the ancient monuments tell their story is a great privilege.
Best wishes to all who love and conserve the moor,
Jack (Walker).

August 20th 2007
Hi Tim,
Many thanks for your superb website; it’s always refreshing to have something new to go and find, or find out about! On this subject, I wonder if you or any visitors to your site could help me with an itch! I’ve been trying to find the Fairey Battle crash site on Lower White for ages. So far I’ve found a few letterboxes, but not the one near the site. Any help would be appreciated before I go mad!
All the best, Paul Fox.

August 15th 2007
I have visited your website and have thoroughly enjoyed its pages, I have just moved to Devon and want to start walking on Dartmoor. Having read all about the mists, bogs and streams I am concerned as to what I should carry on a days walk for my safety. Could you please give me a list of the basic items for such a walk.
Regards, Kerry.

August 13th 2007
Hi Tim
I see in your visitors book someone was wanting a grid reference for the Indian head. I’m sure you know its grid by your latest page but here is the GPS incase you wanted it or to pass it onto your reader 57251 71310.
Regards, Andy.

Many thanks for the GPS co-ordinates, I have added them to the relevant page.

August 12th 2007
Hi Dartmoorlander,
As an avid reader of your site I have a question and I’m sure you will be able to help me. I was sat in the Warren House Inn last evening talking “Dartmoor” with some friends and was asked where the “Indians Head” was. I had no idea but apparently it is somewhere in the valley below the Inn and possibly along a leat. It is a set into the wall and resembles an Indians Head. Maybe it isn’t an Indian and I have been searching your site this morning but probably haven’t entered the correct search terms.
If you can help me and give me an approx grid reference I would be very grateful, I “need” to go and see it for myself! The person I was talking to had only been told about it from a friend so only knew of the rough area and it’s quite a big area to go looking blind. If you have any information on it on your site, please would you provide the link to the correct page.
Many thanks for any help “AND” such a great site, I love reading it.

August 10th 2007
I wondered if you’d mind me pinching part of your Ordulph illustration for one of my homebrew labels (as attached)? They are not for sale, so I won’t make any money out of it, it’s just a bit of fun. I could put an acknowledgement on somewhere, but my favoured option would be to feature the label on my site, in which case I could link directly to yours.
Finally, many thanks for the inspiring folklore and congratulations on an excellent site.
Much Appreciated, Crispin.

August 8th 2007
Dear Tim
I have included a link to your website in our links page. I think that your website is most informative.
best wishes
Bryan Kell – Secretary Newton Abbot Ramblers.

July 24th 2007
My name is Steve Trigger, may I first start off by saying what an excellent web site, well done, very interesting indeed! I spent my child hood in Okehampton and now live here in Ontario Canada.
The reason for my e-mail is that I wasn’t sure if you were interested in things that happened on the Moor during the last war, or is it too recent? I have a story that is about an RAF plane that crashed on the moor and my grand father was involved in the rescue of the crew. I do believe the story is already on the web but if I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Thanks, once again, brilliant site!!
Regards – Steve.

14th July 2007
Hello –
I have have a wonderful time on your website. I am fascinated by Dartmoor, and your work is very engaging and informative. Thank you!
I noticed that you have collected place names for the Dartmoor area. I am researching family ancestry for Daniel Wadelsten who lived in Berwick, Maine, USA in the mid 1600’s. I believe he may have originated at Waddlestone, Lew Trenchard, Devon.
In the book, Family Names and Their Story, Sabine Baring-Gould noted that he lived in a manor house that was called Waddlestone in the Domesday book. It is now the Lewtrenchard Manor House.
In trying to figure out the name of this place, I have wondered about an interpretation of Waddlestone that might mean “field of stones” with significant and monumental stones being suggested in various name dictionaries.
You seem to have a wonderful familiarity with the place, and I see that you have collected a great deal of knowledge about the area. I am curious if you have any insights in to this place name – particularly if there are any significant stones in the immediate vicinity of the ancient Waddlestone.
Thank you so much for any thoughts that you might share. Your website (and my research) has convinced me to plan a trip!
Good wishes – Carrie.

6th July 2007
Hi I manage a large archive devoted to the Stirling Bomber and have visited your site to find some information on the Stirling crash at Cornwood. While conducting a search it came to my notice that you have no reference to another Stirling crash at Lee Moor and have attached a brief summary of the aircraft details and the crew who all perished.

Crash details of Stirling LK499 1653 Conversion Unit.
The Stirling and crew were on a training exercise when control was lost followed by structural failure at the rear of the fuselage due to the imposition of heavy loads. The site is 1½ miles East of Cadover Bridge, Lee Moor, Devon. All the crew were killed. This Stirling had previously been attached to 149 Squadron flying 16 Ops.

F/O N.H. MacDonald. Pilot. RCAF. Age 25. From Fort William, Ontario, Canada. Buried Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 55.B.4.

F/O S.K. McGuigan. Nav. RCAF. Age 23. Married to Christel McGuigan of Toronto, Canada.

F/O R.W. Murphy. B/A. RAFVR. Married to K.Murphy. No further details available. Remembered on the Runnymede memorial Panel 208.

Sgt G.J. Canham. W/Op. RAFVR. Age 22. Married to Alice Canham of Muswell Hill, London. Buried Chadwell Heath Cemetery, Dagenham, London. Sec. L. Grave 2008.

Sgt L.W. Bowd. A/G. RAFVR. Age 20. From Ramsy. Buried Ramsey Cemetery. Plot P. Grave 56.

Sgt G.F. Bennett. A/G. RAFVR. Age 19. From Market Drayton. Buried in the South East corner of Christ Church Churchyard, Little Drayton.

Sgt T.W. Hunter. F/Eng. RAFVR. No further details available. Buried Cambusnethan Cemetery. Sec. D. Grave 555.

I would be most interested if any evidence of the crash is found at the site and also of news of any archaeological dig proposed in the future.

Kind regards,

John Reid – Archivist – Photographic Librarian – Stirling Bomber Research Library.

29th June 2007
Just a quick note to thank you for the page on William Crossing at /will-cross.htm . It seems there were several related Crossing families in Brent around that time and before but they have long since moved (mainly to Australia and the USA, I believe). I found your page while researching my family and will record it, along with other details on the Crossings in Devon.

Kind regards,
Jock Crossing, Sydney, Australia.

31st May 2007
Just to let you know that we Bath/Bathe/de Bathes are still around and I, personally, haven’t been bothered by the Pixies for quite some time. Both the English and Irish families claim the origin of their surname from the Bathe Pool and the lands that surround it. The “Sir Henry” mentioned in the legend is likely that of Sir Henry de Baa/Bathonia/Bathe who became a senior justice of the King’s Bench under Henry III and died in 1261. His tomb monument is in Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford. His brother, Walter, became High Sheriff of Devon from 1236-1251, an unusually long shrievality, doubtless due to the influence of his brother. A Hugo de Bathe is claimed as the progenitor of the Irish family of the same name, having won grants of land, in Dublin and Meath, for his services during the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland (1169-1172). He’s claimed, by his descendants, to having been related to Walter and Henry.
The legend errs in saying that the Bathe Pool was destroyed. It’s still in existence and when it occasionally fills is still claimed to have the power to foretell the demise of some notable personage. Unfortunately, I’m told that the locals were very disappointed that it did not fill before Diana’s tragic death. So much for legends, but then again, my family legend claims that it’s supposed to foretell misfortune for a member of the Bath/Bathe family, so perhaps it’s still working its magic.
The image of the pool on your site is not at all accurate, but certainly adds atmosphere to the story. In reality it’s a circular sinkhole, about 12-15 feet deep and approx. 40 feet across, laying in a field near the river Taw .(I won’t mention the name of the town as the current proprietors don’t care for unwelcome visitors.). As it occasionally fills, even during dry seasons, probably from a hidden underground stream, it must have appeared to the early Saxons inhabitants as a bath; hence the name. I’ve read that archaeologists have found evidence of Druid activities in the immediate area, doubtless drawn by the mysterious comings and goings of the water.
You’ve an enjoyable web site. Lots of fun!
Michael Bath (Canada).

28th May 2007
Having read your chapter on William Crossing, I have to say how pleased I am that you appreciate such a fine person. I have been to his grave on occasions and wished he could be stood next to me so that I could listen to what he has to say. I find him so fascinating and my impression is that he was a wonderful man. Although I now live in Norfolk I will be in Lydford this week at Heathergate, and I will make another trip to Mr Crossing. I talk to Lionel Gloyn at Lydford, He is 90 now, and I sit with him for hours to listen about the old ways of the moor. One day he will be gone and all he knows will go with him. Maybe he should record but years are catching him up.
Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.
Ray Coppin.

24th April 2007
This is a wonderful website, I’m glad I found it. Lots and lots of reading stuff. I visit Dartmoor every year and cannot get enough of it. Now with this website I can really prepare my visit. “You only see what you know” – that’s what my arts teacher told me. I will work my way through your texts and be back with you.
Kind regards
Waltraud M. Gasch (Willstätt, Germany).

18th April 2007
Dear Mr. Sandles,
I just came across your “Legendary Dartmoor” website (through a reference in a Plymouth newspaper, which I found through Lexis-Nexis) and I must compliment you on it. It is both thorough and beautiful, a great labour of love on your part, obviously. I just posted a link to your site to a Sherlock Holmes listserv I am on (The Hounds of the Internet) so you should expect a flurry of hits today and tomorrow.
With admiration, ~ Karen Murdock.

14th April 2007
Dear Dartmoorlander,
There are many set stones on Dartmoor that I believe were erected by the early tin traders to mark routes to various destinations which were mainly coastal and estuary havens. I have been locating and recording these for some years both on and off the moor. Some of these stones, which are not always obvious have been removed by land owners since I began to look for them. If they were part of a complex network of routes by which tin was exported to the bronze smiths of Europe and the Middle East, it is urgent that they should be located, recorded and conserved. I need help with this work. Do you know of anyone with the time and interest that could be of assistance.
Best wishes Roger
B Hutchins.

11th April 2007
Dear Sir,
I came across your site and read with a great interest. I have been interested in Dartmoor since my first visit in ’70. I am wondering if you would allow me to translate some of them, particularly stories from “Dartmoor pixies” and “Dartmoor witchcraft” to introduce in Japanese? Because of my poor English, it would take time to put it in shape but I am hoping to make a website about “Pixies and witchcraft in Dartmoor” in Japanese. Of course I will make it clear that the original website (your site) that I use the stories.
Looking forward to hear from you of your favourable reply.
Sincerely, Hongo Hiromi.

6th April 2007
Dear Tim
Having seen your excellent description of Hound Tor I decided to make a detour and go there last Sunday with my wife. I’m afraid we couldn’t wait for a crisp Autumn day.
The place is fascinating, and your description and plans of the layout of the village and each building were extremely helpful. Altho’ the context is quite different the village reminded me of the medieval village of Cosmeston, just outside Cardiff, which, as you may know, has been reconstructed and attracts many visitors and re-enactment groups.
I have a general interest in abandoned communities. We were in fact on our way to South Devon to visit the village of Hallsands. Having been there, taken photos, and obtained a lot of information, I will now write it up on my website (at I do not, however, intend to add a section on Hound Tor as it would be difficult to improve on what you have already done.
With best wishes, Stephen Fisk.

25th March 2007
Hi Tim,
I like your forbidden tor page on your site, thanks for the link to us most appreciated. I visited the letterboxers Spring meeting today and got some encouragement from participants. Unfortunately Vixen Tor has never had a stamp because it’s enclosed and therefore outside their rules of access. Nonetheless people had certainly visited it over the years.
I don’t wish to appear pedantic but I noticed a few small errors in your forbidden tor entry. The January 2005 enquiry classed the land around the tor as farmland not moorland. They did this on the basis of grass percentage of the total flora. The inspectors noted it was a finely balanced decision but nonetheless once made meant the land was no longer classified as open access and could be closed.
Also it’s strictly against the ethics of climbing in this country to use pitons or bolts on rock as it disfigures it and makes climbing easy. It’s something our European friends do but not Brits (unless it’s a man made quarry where you will sometimes see it).
Best wishes, Jim.

24th March 2007
Congratulation on your fine web site.
I wonder if you could please give me the reference of the Account Book in the Record Office mentioning pastys!
All the best. Mike.

21st March 2007
I Loved the site. Went to school for a short time in Widdecombe in about 1946 and here in Canada I remember it fondly. Thanks for the picture and stories. What about High Tor. Will keep watching
Pamela M. Lage.

12th March 2007
Brilliant!!, well done.
After a discussion with my wife about black pudding (she’s from Yorkshire but no one is perfect) I decided to look for information about Hogs Pudding ( a favourite of mine, my grandparents used to live in Crediton), I came upon your website and spent at least an hour chuckling under my breath.
Splendid work, keep it up.
An ‘ampshire ‘og with Devonshire connections.

8th March 2007
Just to say how much I enjoy visiting your website. It is easy to use, informative and extremely well laid out. Thanks for your time and effort
Jim Bain.

27th February 2007
I am a student at the University of Exeter and I am working on developing a website having to do with writers who wrote literature about the southwest of England. Specifically, I am focusing on Eden Phillpotts’ Dartmoor Cycle and I came across your website in searching on Widecombe Fair and Widecombe-in-the-Moor in conjunction with old customs, traditions and folklore. In looking at the extensive list of further reading you have provided I was quite happy to see much of the scholarly material that I have come across in my own research. I would love to provide a link to your website on one of my pages, but I wanted to ask about the provenance of the information that you have provided. I think that a link to your website would be a wonderful addition to my own research, so please let me know what you think.
Sincerely, Andi Paul.

Provenance, Provenance – cheap as chips, but I am, “happy”, that you too have come across the same scholarly material in your research.

7th February 2007
Dear Dartmoorlander,
I’ve just discovered your site. We used to live on the moor for about 5 years and it was such a wonderful period.
It’s lovely to see someone else who loves it as much as we do, we’re coming down to stay in Throwleigh again in March and can’t wait.
Loved to read the Hairy Hands story, I well remember one foggy evening travelling towards Plymouth. My husband nearly jumped out of his skin when he felt the Hairy Hands around his neck – OK, I give in, it was me – but it was fun……
Once again, wonderful site, thank you.

3rd February 2007
Hi, Thank you so much for your site. I came across it quite by accident when looking for Rival Tor and trying to find out if it had ever been called Rippon Tor. My friend and I walked up to Rival Tor last week and in the book I use to plan walks, it was also called Rippon Tor. I have a fairly old ordinance survey map and it is called Rippon Tor on that but also called Ripper Tor on a more modern one, I know there is a Rippon Tor near Haytor, so I am totally confused! Also, there are many stone circles in Fernworthy and they appear to have been catalogued at some time and have numbered posts planted in front. Is there a published list anywhere about them? I was a very keen letter boxer in the 80’s, stopped for a long time and have just taken it up again. My enthusiasm has returned with a vengeance and I know I will find your site a great help, thank you again.

30th January 2007
Hi, I have just been on your website and I think its brilliant. I am planning on doing the Ten Tors this year and practising with my school team. Already and I’m enjoying it so much and the views are just brilliant. Do you have any tips for me to keep carrying on. Write back. Chantelle.

24th January 2007
Hello, really like your website so just a quickie, am besotted with Harford bridge campsite you can drive in park up and not touch the car for two weeks. Oh, and Peter Tavy inn is not what it used to be! Again fantastic website keep it up .
regards, Lee.

22nd January 2007
Hi…i’ve just been onto your website and just wanted to let you know that I thought it was excellent. I’ve been walking the moor for over 20 years now and it’s nice to hear from someone who loves it as much as I do. I was last down on the 26th of December. I wanted to do 10 days down there but the winds forced me off after 5 days. I’m down again on the 9th of Feb for 10 days and really can’t wait. I tend not to use camp sites as there’s the whole of the moor for that!
I was really sorry to hear about your dog and the stile….things like that infuriate me and what these farmers don’t realise is that without tourism there industry would not survive.
Anyway, like I said, it was really good to see someone in love with the moor as much, if not more, than I am.
Take care.
Paul Derrick.

7th January 2007
Brilliant site – my father was from Whitchurch Tavistock and he loved dartmoor. I know he would have loved reading your stories. keep up the good work…
P Toye, Harrogate, North Yorks.

2nd January 2007
Dear Dartmoorkeeper — I have just begun using this extraordinary site, and will enjoy returning to it often. I visited Wistman’s Wood and several nearby tors in 1976 while heading over to the Ilfracombe area where my paternal Great Grandparents William Jones and Ann Tucker were born before immigrating to Ontario, Canada. Also my mother’s people were the Quaker Mendenhall’s of Marridge Hill, Somerset who came to Philadelphia in the 1640s, so my druid ears hear many voices on Dartmoor.
Thank you for your loving care of legendary dartmoor,
Grant Richard Jones.

1st January 2007
Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2007 and a big thank you for producing such a great Web Site. It is a pleasure to behold and a fount of information. Keep up the good work. I believe it is important to learn a thing a day.
Pat Read. aka Jemima!

28th December 2006
Congratulations on a fantastic site – a real eye-opener to all aspects of Dartmoor and the wonderful history of the magical place and the folks who live and have lived there. The time you spend getting a wealth of knowledge with a variation of puzzles and recreation amazes me. Well done and here’s hoping you had a peaceful Christmas and with the very best of wishes for 2007.

26th December 2006
Thank you for your reply to the e-mail sent by my son Trevor. The wording of my son’s e-mail is rather abrupt and might be taken as being rude, which I am afraid is his normal big headed manner. As he is now 37yrs old and lives in France I’m afraid there is nothing I can do about it. He’s bigger than me anyway.
As long as you don’t think badly of me (Peter Smith) personally I’ll wish you all a Happy New Year and see you when the sun shines a bit more often.
Regards, Peter Smith.

25th December 2006 – 10.55.59 pm
Get your facts right and/or learn to read a map; the Warren House Inn is at 427m.
P. J. Smith (??).

What charm school did you come from? Looks like you had a lonely Christmas – I know the Warren House Inn is at a height of 427m it says so on the OS map and also here: /remote_inn.htm If there is another reference then it’s a typo – in which case I can only profusely apologise. Amazing the rest of the world didn’t notice it at one minute to eleven on Christmas Night – probably all too busy enjoying themselves.

22nd December 2006
I discovered your website few months ago and I find it fantastic, funny, very interesting and such hard work it gives me the desire to visit the Dartmoor which I intend to do next year. I just wanted to wish you merry Christmas, have a great time and the best for the new year.
Berangere ( a French from Scotland).

15th December 2006
I just happened upon your site via googling the term “wassailing” and read the “Cyderedup” piece.
I wonder if the purveyors of Dartmoor Looney Juice have expanded into the Swedish market – I have seen similar situations arise in the south of Sweden in the summertime, only the wassacks are generally 4×4 driving Bavarian tourists rather than 4×4 driving Yorkshire folk.
Nice site – Jared Brown.

20th November 2006
Hello Dartmoorlander,
I found your excellent website and hope you can help me. Attached is a photo I took a few years ago of my wife and sister-in-law on Dartmoor, I believe it is at North Hessary Tor. I have recently bought a 35mm film scanner and am slowly digitising my old negatives. When I scanned this one we noticed a very clear face in the rocks which I have highlighted on the photo. It looks rather like a Neanderthal man to me. Is this a known feature on the moor ? I can send a higher resolution photo if you wish.
Thanks and regards, Neil Beattie.

20th November 2006
Hi there! Having been an evacuee to my Granny’s farm in Meavy and spending my formative years wandering the moors I love the place – and your site ! Just a not critical comment but – you have a typo error in the Carrington page It would appear that he died 47 years before he was born ?
All the best Pete Joyce – in Thailand!

Said he was a remarkable man – many thanks for pointing out the error, now fixed.

17th November 2006
Just emailing about your website and how interesting it is! i’ve been there a few times with scouts and ten tors e.t.c but read some stuff on your site i’ve never even heard of:)
Thanks and keep up the good work:)
Mike Brookes.

15th November 2006
Thanks for one of the best sites of Dartmoor on the web. Just to let you know HF holidays will be leading walks along the East Dart passing Snaily House (site of) and I, as the Field officer for Moorlands Hotel (Haytor) am devising the new route through the dreaded gorse, Over 2 weekend trips I have now re opened up a good clear route thro having snapped 1 pair of secateurs.
Best Wishes, Pete.

7th October 2006
Just a quick note to say that I just stumbled across your website, while Googling the Virtuous Lady Mine. Very impressive!
Best wishes, Ian (Acworth).

27th September 2006
I know you believe Dartmoor to be a mysterious place but you have no idea how far that influence reaches. I live in Highland Perthshire and on my marriage, in 1968 I received from my in-laws a watercolour which they had received on their wedding day in the 1940s.
It was purchased in an art shop in Perth, one of a pair (the other was damaged) it was titled On the Moors and was painted by Edward Neatby. My in-laws always assumed it depicted an inn in Perthshire. This picture hung in our living room in three different houses and I always loved it and the way that the road seemed to draw you over the hill. It was joined by its companion in 1985 when my husband had that one reframed .As I hung this second picture on the wall I realised that what everyone had assumed was a clump of trees on the horizon was in fact the inn viewed from the other side of the hill and as I had then just returned from hospital after an operation to remove a cancerous growth to me the view from the other side of the hill was highly significant.
Ten years later on a bus trip to the Plymouth area you can imagine the shock I felt to find myself inside this picture travelling up the hill towards the inn. My husband was horrified as I rushed to the back of the bus in time to see “my” inn disappear into the distance .Needless to say he didn’t believe me when I told him what I had just seen. Fate wasn’t finished with me that day however. We stopped for tea at a place called– I think Princetown and in the gift shop there I saw a book of sketches by Richard Blackmore now Im not interested in sketches nor had I any intention of buying the book when I idly flicked a page and there it was Warren House Inn. I bought the book and showed my husband but he still was sceptical until this week when I found your website .My picture although more colourful than yours could have been painted on the same day Neatby has left out the cars and added a small building to the gable end which actually could have been painted out of yours. Could you please tell me the date and artist of your painting? Some day before I’m too old I must return to Dartmoor and visit the Warren house Inn perhaps to get my picture taken beside it.

June McRobert.

17th September 2006
Just found your web site-congratulations on a brilliant effort. As an ex-letterboxer I found some very interesting bits and pieces that I intend to look at in more detail when time allows. I don’t want to appear “picky” – but just one small addition – perhaps you could accredit The Wild Woodman for the Mount Misery rubber cut – I was talking to him this morning and he still has the original in his loft! I well remember the “Cut Hill Mafia” and the battles he had with The Gaffer to see who could do the smallest copy of each others stamps!
Best wishes, John.

24th August 2006
Hi, just thought I’d drop a quick email . . . wow, really nice to see a ‘different’ site regarding the moors. Even as a kid i have always been fascinated by two different things ; 1- the supernatural. 2- expanses of open land. so i have spent quite a while reading through the different articles on your web-site, especially folklore/ghosts.
My real passion is for camping, and every bank holiday my friends and I can be found traipsing about in search of a new place to pitch for the night. I really don’t think there are many places we have not been (although really im sure there are !)
postbridge is normally our starting point, for a quick pint in the hotel and a glance across the map. ( i have yet to experience the ‘hairy hands’ ) and then off into the middle of nowhere for a day or two. as i manage a mobile phone shop it is pure tranquillity to turn the damn thing off for a couple days and get ‘back to basics’, anyway I’m waffling so I’ll stop ! keep up the good work !

24th August 2006
I like and use your Dartmoor website. However I noticed a silly mistake: The Legend of the Danish Camp. 1st paragraph, 24th line: “Now these women were silly, they knew that the men folk were planning …” Did you mean to say NOT silly or SLY? By “men folk” do you mean simply men?
Regards, Nick.

24th August 2006
Just visited your site through a Google search and what a site it is! I’m an avid Dartmoor hiker/letterboxer and I just want to say what a pleasure it is! I’m also a web designer hoping to become a Professional Webmaster in a couple of years (long course!). Your layout, information, colours and interactivity is outstanding! If I can ever produce something half as good one day then I will be more than happy! I understand how much hard work goes into designing and maintaining a web site and can obviously see the amount of time, energy and research you have done to provide all of us with a mass of information.
A big well done!
Paul (Dizzy).

23rd August 2006
Just had a nose through your web site – Brilliant! I lived in Okehampton for the first 19 years of my life and I did a lot of walking over the moors in my teenage years. 1960’s onwards. Crossing’s Guide was always being borrowed from the library. I think you’ve made a slight mistake with your Pin Tor GR – 755 887 is the approx 6 fig version, yours is west of Lydford Tor!
Thanks for a great web site – I’ll have an in-depth look when I’ve got more time.

22nd August 2006
I am a regular walker on the moor, and had never heard of Trellech – the location of the Virtuous Well. I presumed that, as I live in Cornwall and rarely visit the eastern side other than when back-packing, that it must be there. I checked the map reference which I found to be nowhere near Dartmoor, then performed an internet search, only to find Trellech in south Wales!
Still, thanks for a very informative site.
Regards, Phil.

19th August 2006
Caw. I never knawed about this yer. Proper job. You kep’en a purtty good secret, ab’n ee?
Jane Stewer.

9th August 2006
I was just reading with great interest the wonderful stories on your website and decided to read the items of Dartmoor news and witchcraft. I have been visiting Dartmoor since i was a child and it is my favourite place in the country. I was very distressed to read about the killing of animals on the moor and even more so to read that people still associate such cruel acts with pagans. Usually these acts are committed by confused individuals who have read a few occult books and are on some sort of power trip. Of course there are good and bad pagans, but usually these types of rituals are associated with satanic worship and Satan is not a recognised deity within paganism. I have been a witch all of my life. I worship and practice usually alone, meeting with other like minded people to share the fun and joy of the festivals of the turning year. I know a lot of pagans and most of them care passionately about the earth, nature and animals. These things are an expression of our lord and lady and we would never harm them. I hope you do not mind me writing to you, but I really wanted to make my point that true pagans and witches do not carry out evil deeds or wish to harm anything. Also, the desecration of sacred and natural sites by fire and leaving litter etc is not an act of a true pagan, but some misguided souls searching for an identity.
Blessings Julie Nr Lands End, Cornwall.

18th July 2006
Thank you for calling into the museum this morning and I hope you got the photos you wanted. Hope also I’ve got the right web site – if so Ann who you spoke to is right – its tremendous and gives so much information on Dartmoor. I’m really pleased you have a link to the museums site – I tend to get muddled with to and from when it comes to links with web sites and we have been caught a couple of times, which has been costly!. so thank you. I will certainly use your site for information.
Best wishes.
Curator – Okehampton Museum of Dartmoor Life.

1st July 2006
Dear Tim,
We have met – just once- outside Lee Moor Hall at a Meet a couple of years ago; then you were chatting to none other than Chris Kelland (I believe that’s who it was). This letter is simply to say that via Di Hall-Say I have found your wonderful website and will no doubt spend many happy hours perusing all the legends and other pages. What a super way to advertise this beautiful moor and what a deal of pleasure you will have brought to everyone who reads it. Are the illustrations on it all letterbox stamps past, present or perhaps future? I love letterboxing but I don’t go as far out as I used to although there are more than enough lovely boxes to keep me busy as my WOMB e-mail address book is quite extensive.
Best wishes, Jan.

27th June 2006
I must admit that I really enjoy reading your site, it ranges from deadly serious to laugh out loud funny. Having just taken to Letterboxing (much use of thumbscrews to persuade my chap it is fun and a real challenge), I found your articles on walks and dartmoor history etc very helpful, especially as I have two very eager hounds that seem to have more boxing success than I do! Fortunately they never throw up in the car, but can track the smallest trace of fox poo for miles and love to have a crafty roll when the opportunity arises. I was very sorry to hear about Zeb and have experienced incidents like this in the Isle of Purbeck (before being ethnically cleansed by the second home owners), even though I knew the guy that inspected the footpaths he still didn’t act when I quizzed him. I had problems like this last year near the Scorhill stone circle when the farmer dismantled a style and expected my very large 35kg lurcher to magically fly over it – unfortunately he did try to and I spent ages nursing him before he was able to continue. Just wanted to say thanks for the site and keep up the good work.

2nd May 2006.
Dear Dartmoorlander,
I’m sure the Bishop you refer to must be John Bishop, the renowned wall builder that you feature on your site – unfortunately I’m 250 miles from Dartmoor, and have just spent Easter there, but if I was there now I’d probably head for Muddilakes Newtake and hope that those bearings start making sense!
Your website is absolutely superb, incidentally. I’ve only skimmed the surface but I find it well written, fascinating and excellently designed. I too became a ‘Dartmoor expert’ through letterboxing but have still learnt much from your WebPages. Many thanks.

17th April 2006.
Hi There,
As fellow Dartmoor lovers and letter boxers we are very impressed with your web site, the content, art work and presentation of the site is excellent. We believe some of the graphics would make a great series of letter box stamps. We were wondering if you would allow us to copy some of the graphics from your web site to produce letterbox stamps for a letter box walk in aid of a charity lets say ‘’The Dartmoor Leat restoration’’ or Dartmoor National Parks or a charity of your choosing to be sold at the next letter boxer’s meet in the Autumn. We would site the walk and supply the stamps all at our cost and all proceeds would go to the charity of your choice. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Kind Regards, Barry & Tanya.

13th April 2006.
Hi there
I just wanted to write and say how much I have enjoyed the stories on your site, particularly the piskie stories. I would really like to know who wrote/collected them as I have been telling them around (I work as a storyteller) and I would like to be able to credit the stories instead of saying, “from the internet.” Hope you can help.
Thanks, Kate.

2nd March 2006
Many thanks for your March letterboxing clue, it has been fun working it out, and has helped to pass the time whilst we are grounded, trying to keep immobile our very best friend, of the canine variety, as he awaits surgery on a broken cruciate ligament. It would be lovely, were we to solve a future clue, to actually be able to get out and check our theories. As a total fan of your site, it is obviously a benefit to read your new additions, and to check in as often as possible. You never know what you might see and then understand, Kingcups, dropped cups, arrows and b`s, and mounds distinctly lacking in dead Norsemen suddenly appear before your eyes. Looking forward to April, I think, although perhaps we shall not check the clue until after noon. I wonder if anyone might look for your box at Beardown. !!
Much appreciation, su.

18th February 2006
Your Dartmoor site is amazing, just how a website should be. It really is a journey to click through it. In fact, it inspired me to stay down in Devon last weekend. I stayed at the Church House Inn in Holne, then explored the moor with a friend the day after. Can you tell me if the Inn has had any hauntings? Maybe it is in your site, but I just haven’t found it yet!

14th February 2006
I am very impressed with your website Legendary Dartmoor. I am a Voluntary director of the Dartmoor Tourist Association, a group promoting Dartmoor and the businesses on Dartmoor. One of my interests is the DTA’s new website . You have kindly added a link to the DTA I was wondering if you would object for us linking to your site ? The DTA working in partnership with the National Park are the organisation who promotes individual accommodation providers on Dartmoor. Would it be possible to highlight that we offer quality accommodation for visitors to Dartmoor who may wish to investigate some of the Legends.
Once again congratulation on a great site.
Kindest Regards.

6th February 2006
It has been really interesting to see your new letterbox quest on your rather splendid website, and should we get a chance to go out fairly soon, if work allows, we might try for the February box at Lord Mayors Castle, as it would appear that we have had both a Lord Mayor who is called Gayer, as is one called Gurney. Haven’t quite tied in the glace de mer, other than it rather sounds alike, but if my theory is wrong then we will have had a walk in one of Dartmoor’s most beautiful places.
Love going to your site to see the latest additions, and quite stunning artwork
all the best, Su.

23rd January 2006
Wonderful website! Thought you would be interested in listening to an old time radio program from the ’40’s concerning Dartmoor. I listen to these programs as a hobby and the “Hairy Hand of Dartmoor” is on of my favorites. Out of curiosity, I searched the net to discover Dartmoor is a real place! I wasn’t even sure what a “moor” was before your site! Anyway, if you were interested you can find the program on the net, search “Fear on Four” and you’ll get it. Enjoy and thanks for the site.
Gina, New Jersey, USA.

22nd January 2006
Hi Tim
Have just been reading about Golden Dagger. I note that you have mis-spelt Cassiterite. Another point to note – The Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group do not explore underground workings. They never have, and never will because of the costs of Insurance. You may advertise the Plymouth Caving Group or the Devon Mining Club if you so wish as clubs/groups that legally enter underground mine workings.
Under Virtuous Lady Mine – Morwellham not Morwellam. On the point where you blatantly accuse (not by name) me of stripping Virtuous Lady Mine, perhaps you ought to get your facts straight. I never stripped that mine – it was a mineral dealer from Willand who I did not know at that time. There is proof of that, and it is recorded with the local Police. Perhaps you ought to put up a warning that anyone caught entering that mine will be prosecuted by English Nature and the police as it is a well-known bat roost. The mine will be gated this coming spring and both the above mentioned groups will be the point of any access arrangements. Tim – Your website is a credit to you, and I appreciate it, along with the time and effort that you have put into it.
Kindest regards – Dartmoor Chris.

14th January 2006

Nice job with that website, lots of interesting stuff on there!! Particularly enjoyed the accounts of the Tavi Badger…..Which in East Cornish folklore has always been known as the Delabole Badger… I got a new book for Christmas…’Dartmoor Sun’ Dunno whether you’ve seen it but it’s very similar to your Merrivale page?!
Anyways its got me interested, and I was thinking about having a little explore of the stone circle at the bottom of corn ridge….all I can find written about this one is a little bit in Hemery’s where he explains the location but not a lot else. Have you seen any other information about it??
Aside from that do you have a copy of mine & me Dads clues?? I certainly don’t have any of yours….except something to do with hen tor warren, are these still sited?? All the best with the website

6th January 2006
This is the site I’ve been waiting for!!! Brilliantly comprehensive and entertaining with many legends and facts that are new on me – which is saying something as I have devoured Dartmoor legends since a very young age.
From one Moorphile to another I salute you! Many thanks
Mel, Plymouth.

6th January 2006
It’s Ray Young again. Further to my email dated 28 Dec 2005. Since then, I’ve enjoyed exploring your site and entering many Waypoints in my GPS. I hate being a party pooper, but I have spotted a couple errors which you may want to check. The first one, under the heading of ‘The Suit of Cards’ concerns the ‘Nine Stones’. Entering the grid reference to my Garmin takes me to the Nine Stones south of Watchet Hill,
not Ryder’s Hill, see scan of the OS map below. The second one (this is pure nit picking on my part) concerns ‘Dartmoor’s Remotest Inn’. You state an altitude of 519m for Moute’s Inn, I reckon it should be about 591m, what do you think? Check out the map below. That’s all, on the negative side.
On the positive side, it’s still a brilliant website and I will continue to have many happy hours on it. Thanks for publishing my first email in the Visitor’s Book, (don’t worry, I’m not expecting to see this one there).
Many thanks Ray, I have corrected the above errors.

1st January 2006
Surfed in on the first day of 2006 – what a delight ! I have been under the spell of “Old Dartymoor” since about 1966 when I was four years old. I have bookmarked your site and will work my way through the 200 pages at leisure.
Keep up the good work.
David. PS I live on the edges of western Dartmoor.

1st January 2006
Surfed in on the first day of 2006 – what a delight ! I have been under the spell of “Old Dartymoor” since about 1966 when I was four years old. I have bookmarked your site and will work my way through the 200 pages at leisure.
Keep up the good work.
David. PS I live on the edges of western Dartmoor.

21st December 2005
I just had to write & congratulate you on such a professional web site, full of interesting anecdotes. In particular am impressed with the Perambulation page & very jealous of the smart route map.
Keep up the good work

10th December 2005
Great site, well informed, a plethora of information. I first visited the moor training for my Ten Tors expedition and return as often is possible. From one moor lover to another well done on a great and informative site.

2nd December 2005
Hi, ever since my first visit to the Moor as a small boy on a West Country holiday, I have returned many times, my most recent visits have been with my own young family. I believe it to be the most beautiful, mysterious, wild and perfect spot in the UK. Your site reflects all these attributes superbly and then some – well done and thanks. Chris from Norfolk.

28th November 2005
I hope you enjoyed making the website as much as i have enjoyed reading it! I am going on my duke of Edinburgh’s expedition in Dartmoor, and am pleased to have found such a ready source of information for our project work. we intend to design our own myths around the antiquities of the moor, so lets just hope that the ghosts approve! thanks once again, and see you on the moor. x

13th November 2005
Hi Dartmoorlander!
Loved your website. You’ll finish the Dartmoor Delights won’t you? The email link didn’t work, so I copied and pasted your address when it came up on the “don’t press anything the computer is doing stuff” bar at the bottom of the page. Couldn’t get to the Visitors’ book at all. I’ll know more when I’ve finished the ECDL. Going to talk about Dartmoor and I finally found all the answers I was looking for on your site e.g. did Drake build the Devonport Leat? What does a bulls eye look like? Loved the apple bit. There’s a council run apple orchard somewhere near Plymouth, built to be a bank of the English apples. Idea for Dartmoor Delights – Dartmoor Cattle.
Cheers Monica.

30th October 2005
I just came across your website, and it is certainly an excellent site for anybody interested in Dartmoor myths and legends.I also live on Dartmoor, and think it is a great place to be, and for people to visit.
Having recently taken over , and tried to make it a better site for the Dartmoor visitor, I would like to add a link to your site, as I see you already link to mine. If this is OK, please let me know.
Best wishes, and maybe we will meet someday,
Trevor Carpenter.

30th October 2005
I have been reading your excellent site. I have a great interest in the area as my family comes from Chagford/Ashburton to London and thence to Australia in 1854. I will peruse the rest of the articles with interest
Kind regards Bryan Whiddon Sydney Australia.

18th September 2005
What a find. And what a web-site! I go to Princetown, Dartmoor , every year in February and November with a group of friends. After spending the day on the moors we end up drinking Jail Ale in Princetown and this year i intend to set the nerves on edge with local Ghost-stories. This website has been an excellent aid. Plus a sinister coincidence has had light shed upon it. The Hairy Hands at Postbridge live on. (perhaps) One of our convoy experienced ‘erratic steering’ whilst driving through Postbridge!!! Spooky. The Web-site is great. Easy to navigate, informative and I love the illustrations/pictures. Great Job.

About Tim Sandles

Tim Sandles is the founder of Legendary Dartmoor


  1. Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I
    am inspired! Very useful information particularly the last phase 🙂 I take care
    of such information much. I used to be seeking this particular
    info for a very lengthy time. Thanks and best of luck.

  2. Great site, loads of great information. Been going back to Dartmoor for 50 years. My wife and I were married at Brentor Church in 1992. My father’s family have lived on Dartmoor for at least six generations, around Tavistock, Walkham Valley, Horrabridge etc. Your website reminds me of going home without the long flight from our present home in South Florida. Well done.

  3. Hi tracing family history of Warne, does anybody know the reason
    For warne lane? Also was there family connection with James Warne of Plymton born 1748? I know we are a line of Masons also fought in battle at Agincourt and mentioned in Dooms day book. Any other information much appreciated.

  4. Hi Tim, just wanted to say what an amazing site you have created, have read many of the stories over the years having been a keen dartmoor hiker and photographer, it always nice to hear the folk law behind the locations.

    I have a few blogs about dartmoor at I’m thinking of doing some more on specific locations in the future and would love to link out to your site, if this is OK let me know, also feel free to share any of my images with a link on your site if you need any of the locations I have been to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.